Penang Hill railway to close for one-week annual inspection


The Penang Hill railway will be closed for annual inspection for a week in January – and this might be a good time to check the electric contacts.

A worn out electric contact
A worn out electric contact

The inspection on 7-13 January 2013 will be carried out by Garaventa and SISAG.

They might want to look more closely at the electric contacts that pick up power for the carriages. One engineer claims these contacts are likely to get worn out quickly and have to be replaced often.

The problem is the contacts lying flat on the side of the track when they should be upright, he says. “The hump (in the new section of the track – see photo below) is the main cause for the major wear of the contacts,” adds the engineer.

The hump in the track near the old Middle Station
The hump in the track near the old Middle Station

Such contacts cost around A$35 each in Australia. Perhaps that price should also be compared to the replacement cost over here.

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Ong Eu Soon

The way to solve the traffic problem along the route from Penang Bridge to Penang Hill is to adopt a park and ride scheme. The Penang state government has finally come to it’s sense and agree to build a public parking bay some where and to cater free bus ride to the Penang Hill. One again, it proved that I am right all the time regarding the solution for Penang traffic. The Great Anil missed the point only be able to see my public display of hatred against the cocky arrogant tokong, but fail to see how my proposal can… Read more »


… Give one good reason why its done now?

Why close for inspection at this period of year when usually influx of local and overseas visitors/tourists? How many more times will this continue to inconvenient Penangites with businesses up the hill?


I hope this will be the last time it has to close for maintenance/inspection or due to break downs. It is a disgrace to Pg. The federal govt may have done a bad job but it has been two years since. Time to get it fixed once and for all. Closing the train for one week seems a bit excessive to me. Sg runs an MRT line every single day of the year without any closures. If the train breaks down and the MRT is closed for 2 hours, there will already be a hue and cry and the CEO… Read more »


Penang Hill Railway will never be the same again, not to mention the Speedy Gonzales Fridge Train With Scheduled Annual Sick Leave & Expensive Maintenance Tagged With Opportunity Costs of Loss Revenue. The curse of Satu Lagi Projek has been done on Penang’s tourism repute & fragile green environment. Blame who for such fiasco? This is one expensive lesson the state gomen should learn & not stay foolish & hungry for more of such Fed’s SLP funding that brings more harm than good. What’s evil done cannot be undone but better learnt with bitter gourd taste to prevent such avoidable… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Under normal circumstances, those contacts last for years. The contact is not a fast worn out item. What happened is a bad engineering decision and design. Unless the train is reverse to the old way using 2 stages train to avoid the hump, there is no way to solve the problem. This is a small price to pay for ignoring public feedback and for refusing to learn from history. The cocky arrogant tokong will only learn when he lose power in the coming election.


This is satelite map for Penang hill . I see the straight line tram/train, around 1.5~2km track. On the other hand, there is another “healthier track” map out by cyclist (click here to see the map) , from botanica garden to the hill, ~ 3.5- 4km. BTW, faster trains mean each ride, will put pressure and more wear on the track, hence expensive maintenance. Slow down will cut the running cost, but this is Bolehland, until the money run out till government refuse to inject more money, crappy mentality will continue running the services. Speed calculation : 2.2km ride took… Read more »


IT is a pity some one would get a second opinion, from the past or better still get a person who knows how to solve the problem.