GEORGE TOWN, 6 Oct — The Penang Hill funicular train service is expected to resume using the new coaches early next year.
Its steering committee deputy chairman, Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the Penang Hill Funicular Railway was currently undergoing upgrading work and was expected to be resume services in January.
“The project was delayed a bit due to some construction problems but we are confident it will be completed by the end of next month before we go on with the trial run,” he told reporters, here today.
On February 22, the 87-year-old funicular train service ceased operations to make way for a RM63 million upgrading project by the Tourism Ministry.
He said new coaches were expected to be put on the tracks for a trial run once the upgrading of the funicular railway system was completed.
“The installation of the new coaches will enable visitors to take coaches to the top instead of having to change trains in the middle station as in the past,” he said.
However, Lee said the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) was looking for some RM40 million budget to be used over a three to four year period mainly for emolument, maintenance and upgrading expenses.
He said PHC would make the application to the federal and state governments for the fund, besides hoping for some contributions from the private sector as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“The hill’s roads and bypasses are a top priority because we must prevent further erosion besides undertaking much needed repair works there” he said.
He said PHC planned to develop a few projects on the Hill to restore its image as the tourism icon in the state.
“We are working on refurbishing a few bungalows, reconstruction of the hanging bridge and build a hawker and food Terrace in order to attract more visitors,” he said. — Bernama