Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff
Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff is a new gallery on Penang Hill which opened in May 2022, documenting the history, culture, and nature on Penang Hill. As part of the exhibitions, there is a special Funicular Exhibit in the gallery, and that name alone was enough to have me book my ticket to Penang to check it out.
Getting to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff from Upper Station
The Penang Hill Railway Upper Station is currently undergoing renovations, and the current walking route to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff also has some works going on.
Staff are on hand at the road construction site to ask where you are going as it leads through the Little Village which is another ticketed area.
The staff will direct you on a temporary route through Little Village when you say that you are going to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
Heading down the steps to Little Village.
The walk to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff through Little Village is downhill but with no signage.
Passing by a stationary motorbike, bicycle, and rickshaw at Little Village.
Passing by the Queen Bee Palace at Little Village. I made a mistake by going up here which I quickly learnt that it was not the Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
I continued my albeit-lost walk on the unpainted path, and saw a peek of the Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff building. I think I’m on the correct path then.
It’s a bit strange that there are no signs at all on this path, and I only knew about the design of Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff because I had seen it online before. I don’t think regular passing tourists would know that there is a gallery there, perhaps just another building on Penang Hill.
The walk passes through a service area, but with nowhere else to turn, I think that this is the correct path down.
After passing by a bit more trees, I can finally see that I am approaching Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff with the next path I need to take below.
Looking down back to Georgetown from the path outside Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
At the junction to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff, no actual sign was printed for it too.
Instead, there is a temporary sign tied onto the fence.
The main junction down to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
Ah, this looks a bit more permanent.
Heading down the steps to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff Opening Hours
Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff is open from 9am to 4.30pm from Wednesday to Monday. Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff is closed on Tuesdays.
Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff Ticket Prices
Tickets for the Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff cost RM10 per adult, RM5 for senior citizens and children, and free for OKUs and children below 4 years old. There is no price differentiation here between Malaysians and foreigners.
Tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter at the entrance of Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
My ticket for Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
Scanning my ticket at the turnstiles at Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
The entrance to the gallery is through the Time Tunnel first.
The first gallery is the Biodiversity Exhibit with Penang Island’s geological history.
Activities on how Penang Hill is being actively conserved is also described here.
Next is the Heritage Exhibit where bungalows and heritage buildings are explained.
A spiral staircase here leads up to the rooftop.
The rooftop of Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff offers excellent views overlooking Georgetown down below.
Looking down at KOMTAR and Penang Sentral.
Looking down at the Penang Bridge.
Heading back down the spiral staircase.
There is also an open balcony at the Heritage Exhibit.
More descriptive signs are placed here so that you know what you are looking at below.
The view from the rooftop or balcony is almost the same.
Heading back inside to the aircon.
Next up is the highlight of my visit to Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff with the 3 generations of Penang Hill Railway funicular trains on the wall.
Heading down to the Funicular Gallery.
I’m definitely choosing to go right for the Funicular Gallery.
The Funicular Gallery is split into 2 distinct areas. You should start going around the Funicular Gallery from the history panel.
The current Penang Hill Railway as we know of it today is actually the second railway built on Penang Hill. The first Penang Hill Railway was a regular steam line, completed in 1905, but was rendered useless due to technical faults. The current alignment was opened on 1 January 1924 as the Penang Hills Funicular Railway, and has gone through 3 generations of trains since.
Photographs and artefacts of the Penang Hill Railway are displayed in the Funicular Gallery.
The centerpiece of the Funicular Gallery are funicular models of the 3 generations of the Penang Hill Railway.
The model of the 1st Generation Penang Hill Railway funicular train.
The model of the 2nd Generation Penang Hill Railway funicular train.
The model of the 3rd Generation Penang Hill Railway funicular train.
There is a souvenir emboss stamp but I’m not sure what it’s for as there were no activity cards at he ticket counter.
The old uniform worn by staff of the Penang Hill Railway.
A replica of “The Penang Hill Railway” book published in 1925 by Arnold Robert Johnson, the engineer that built the Penang Hill Railway funicular.
A wall of classic and interesting ticket designs from 1923 till present…?
Seems like Penang Hill has forgot about today’s crappy ticket not feasible to keep for more than a few months.
The Funicular Gallery has a seating area on the other side with a display of artefacts and an interactive model.
More original artefacts are placed in the glass display case.
There is also an interactive display on how the 2nd Generation Penang Hill Railway trains worked. The stations have been recreated on a straight line model.
On the bottom of the Interactive Funicular Train System is of course the Lower Station.
The trains don’t actually run on a single track, but they do shift while crossing in motion to simulate the Abt Passing Loop.
The interchange at the Middle Station on the Interactive Funicular Train System.
Small huts depict the intermediate stations on the upper section – Claremont, Moniot, Viaduct, Lower Tunnel, and Upper Tunnel.
The tunnel is also featured in the Interactive Funicular Train System.
The Upper Station at the top of the Interactive Funicular Train System.
Trains passing on the simulated Abt Passing Loop. Watch a video on how it works here:
Details of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation Trains on the Penang Hill Railway are also listed here.
Done with the Funicular Gallery, I headed down to the Cultural Gallery to continue on the gallery path.
The Cultural Gallery showcases the community that lived on Penang Hill from the 1950s till today, along with the history of the building that Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff, which was originally named Braeside.
There is another balcony here, but it was locked.
A porter and child with a Penang Hill Railway bus in 1977.
The late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Princess Debaratana Rajasuda, The Princess Royal of Thailand have also visited Penang Hill.
Lee Kuan Yew, the 1st and former Prime Minister of Singapore, and Kwa Geok Choo, the wife of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and mother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had also visited Penang Hill.
Souvenir Shop & Exit
The gallery visit ends with a visit to the souvenir shop at the exit.
Edgecliff t-shirts, mugs, fridge magnets, and other branded travel merchandise are available for sale here.
No actual models of the Penang Hill Railway trains are available, with the closest item being a 3rd Generation funicular plush toy.
Heading up the stairs after exiting from Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff.
The staircase leads back up to the main entrance. Here, it’s the walk up through Little Village to get back to the central part of Penang Hill.
If you see construction, you are on the right track.
I thought that the details put in to the Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff Funicular Gallery was fantastic. Details were quite accurate, save for a few minor broken English translations. Lots of original artefacts are also on display, along with models of the 3 generations of Penang Hill Railway funicular trains. Despite being a short railway line, the history and technical details have been documented well. This is further complemented with most visitor’s funicular train ride up to Penang Hill, so visitors know exactly what the train is.
Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff’s Funicular Gallery might just well be Malaysia’s best railway museum based on artefacts and details, since there are not many train sections in Malaysia’s museums to start with.