GEORGE TOWN: Barely two weeks of resuming operation, the Penang Hill funicular railway services has been suspended for 12 days for the annual maintenance work.
The train service was earlier disrupted following a landslide triggered by heavy rain on Nov 4, which covered part of its track.
There were altogether 194 landslides on Penang Hill, affecting the funicular train service and cutting off not just the access lanes to the residences nearby, but also the jeep track, the principal road to the hill.
It resumed its operation on Dec 30.
The latest announcement about the service shutdown for the annual maintenance, from Jan 8 to 19, was made through its website and Facebook posting.
When contacted, Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) marketing and communication officer T. Shobalini said the shutdown was scheduled even before the landslide incident.
“We always conduct maintenance work every January of the year,” she said.
Social media users, however, were not happy with the announcement and vented their frustration on the Penang Hill’s Facebook page.
A user, Shanmugam Arumugam, commented, “Just opened the funicular train service after how many days wanted to close it again.”
Another user Begeta SP said “Just opened and shutdown again? Better don’t open. (baru buka shutdown again? baik jangan buka).”
The administrator of the page then clarified that the annual scheduled maintenance required for the funicular system and railway track could not be combined with the earlier emergency shutdown.
“We apologise for any inconvenienced caused. PHC is committed to ensure funicular service is safe and enjoyable for all visitors and users. Thank you,” it said today.