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Published: Saturday February 20, 2010 MYT 5:53:00 PM

Penang Hill’s funicular train to stop for 7 months

PENANG: Those wishing to go up Penang Hill on the iconic funicular train have until Sunday to do so as the service will stop from Monday for a RM63mil upgrading project which is expected to take at least seven months to complete.

The present system, which requires passengers to change trains at the middle station, will be replaced with a new system that takes passengers straight up the hill, non-stop.

It was earlier reported that the new system will be able to carry up to 80 people per trip in about 10 minutes compared to the present 87-year-old system which can only ferry 60 people on 30-minute trips.

It was also reported that the new coaches would be air-conditioned with a glass roof that allows travellers to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the hill.

Penang Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said Saturday that Penang Hill residents and hotel operators would run a jeep service up the hill from the Botanic Gardens during the temporary closure of the funicular train.

Penang Hill Residents Association secretary Beh Chin Siang said there would be about 20 jeeps on standby from 8.30am to 7pm.

“We are charging from RM70 to RM90 for each jeep per two-way trip. We can also help arrange for a night trip or stay-over at the hotel on the hill,” Beh said.

A board at the foot of the hill stated that the upgrading project was expected to be completed on Sept 28.

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