Peak Tram: Garden Road (Temporary) to The Peak by Funicular

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The Peak Tram is arguably one of the key icons of Hong Kong, a popular funicular railway carrying tourists and residents to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels residential area. Being a tourist attraction with mostly tourists using the funicular to get to The Peak, I was wondering how the situation is now, now that close to no tourists are visiting Hong Kong.

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Crossing the road to the Garden Road terminus. The station is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate a larger 6th Generation Peak Tram.

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Heading to the ticket counter, looking out for the queue crowd.

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Oh, a small sign leading to the ticket office?

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I was thinking that the line would lead in to a ticketing room, seeing how nobody was outside.

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But nope, there is simply no one buying tickets any more.

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Heading to buy my Peak Tram ticket.

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As I was here just for the Peak Tram ride, I did not get the Peak Tram Sky Pass which would include the Sky Terrace 428 lookout point, but rather, just a normal return ticket for HK$52.

This time too, I did not make my purchase from KLOOK as they only had the Peak Tram Sky Pass on sale, whether it includes the Peak Tram Fast-Track Combo through a separate agent (surprisingly cheaper) or directly from Peak Tramways Company Limited without the fast-track queue (surprisingly more expensive). My guess is that the agent is now stuck with lots of pre-purchased Peak Tram Sky Pass tickets that no one is buying, simply because no one is going to Hong Kong anymore.

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My ticket for my return Peak Tram ride from Garden Road to The Peak.

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The reverse side of my ticket.

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The queue for the Peak Tram is now opposite the original station building.

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Following the signs to the new boarding area.

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The new temporary queue is sheltered.

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The queue line goes on No. 1 Tramway Path.

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I approached the ticket gates with no queues at all.

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A Peak Tram staff helps to scan my ticket on the new ticket gates.

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Looking back at the new ticket gates.

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Entering the platform, there were just 2 passengers waiting for the Peak Tram, sitting down on a bench. Just like waiting for a regular tram rather than a tourist attraction.

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The new end of the line, rendering the Peak Tram ride shorter. This buffer stop is located before the final curve into the original Garden Road terminus.

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Looking up towards The Peak with a view of the very empty platforms.

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With just a few minutes of waiting, the Peak Tram is arriving at Garden Road temporary terminus.

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The feeling of having a Peak Tram arriving on an open platform is very surreal. It’s like taking a regular tram at off peak hours.

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The emblem of the Peak Tramways Company Limited, not a photo that a tourist could normally take with the crowds on the platform.

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Waiting for the doors to open as passengers alight from the other side of the Peak Tram.

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Boarding the Peak Tram.

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Yup, what an uncomfortable sight with no crowds.

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The interior of the almost empty Peak Tram. On a typical journey, I would be either fixed in a seat or standing in a fixed position, but now I can roam around the Peak Tram like how I would on a normal train.

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The hill side of the tram features 2-abreast seating.

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The city side of the tram features 2-abreast seating.

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The gangway of the Peak Tram.

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Looking down at the other car, something which you can’t normally do.

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There is a folding seat by the side of the train doors, similar to European trains.

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The builder plate of Von Roll Transportsysteme AG inside the Peak Tram.

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Request stops can be made by pushing the buttons on this panel.

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The lighted board for request stops made en route.

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Way under the maximum capacity on this trip.

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Looking back at the front car with more passengers now, though still not as full as usual.

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I got a seat on the Peak Tram, something which I have not gotten in years.

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The empty door with no one standing in front of it.

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Once the operator comes back to the Peak Tram, it’s time to depart.

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The Octopus reader is also readied for passengers who may be boarding from intermediate stops.

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Departing from Garden Road temporary terminus.

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Passing by the preserved 4th Generation Peak Tram in front of the maintenance shed off Kennedy Road station.

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Crossing with the opposing Peak Tram in the middle of the line. Interestingly, despite the shortening of the line from the lower Garden Road temporary terminus, the crossing point is still the same. I wonder if the “double reversible funicular system” means that the Peak Tram operates with 2 separate drums and cables instead considering that the crossing point has not shifted higher.

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The steep angle of the climb up to The Peak.

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Approaching Barker Road stop.

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The spectacular night view of the Hong Kong skyline from the Peak Tram, though camera shots will turn out blurry.

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Passing through Barker Road stop, the only intermediate stop to have a proper station building.

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Approaching Peak Tower.

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Entering The Peak terminus.

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Seems like there are more people going down, though still a small crowd as compared to the usual 2-tram wait.

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The ascend from Garden Road temporary terminus to The Peak terminus takes 7 minutes.

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Disembarking from the empty Peak Tram.

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The exit leads directly into the Peak Tower.

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Looking back at the awkwardly empty front of the Peak Tram.

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Seems like the ridership levels are similar to that almost 130 years ago now.

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Heading out of the Peak Tram arrival platform.

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The path leads directly into the Peak Market to buy typical travel souvenirs.

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Hmm… Looks more like China rather than Hong Kong.

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With most of the stops closed, and without visiting the Sky Terrace 428, I headed out of the building.

Overall, an unbelievable ride on the Peak Tram with no crowds, no queues, and the ability to ride it like a normal tram rather than a touristy attraction. Perhaps my best Peak Tram ride ever despite having taken it before on various trips so far.

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