Penang Hill Railway from Upper Station (Penang Hill) to Lower Station (Air Itam) by Funicular Railway

Penang Hill Railway Train from Upper Station to Lower Station

The Penang Hill Railway is a funicular railway climbing up Penang Hill from Air Itam, and is the main transport link for visitors heading up to Penang Hill. As it looked like it was going to rain, I decided to head back down early instead of spending lunch time on Penang Hill, just in case the rain persisted and I get stranded on the top.

Following my ticket details and signs at the Upper Station, I headed to the temporary ticket counter first to get my Batch Number.

The temporary ticket counter is in front of Cliff Café or Astaka Bukit Bendera.

When at the counter, the staff informed me that there was no need for a batch number and I should just head to the queue directly.

Heading into the normal lane in the sheltered walkway to the platform.

Continuing on the bridge to the Upper Station.

Makeshift seats are placed along the walkway as the queuing area for the Penang Hill Railway down to Lower Station.

The waiting line leads directly to the platform boarding gate. Boarding commences immediately after the alighting passengers have cleared the platform. The Spanish Solution is currently not in use as the rest of Upper Station is undergoing renovations.

Heading down to the front cabin.

The front cabin was quite full this time, but I managed to get a spot with a view for my camera.

The interior of the Penang Hill Railway funicular train. As the train is angled steeply, individual cabins are divided in different levels so passengers can remain more or less standing or sitting straight throughout the journey.

The builder plate of the Penang Hill Railway funicular train. The 3rd Generation trains are manufactured by Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group and CWA Constructions, and is classified as Funicular “100-FUL Penang Hill” by them.

Departing from Upper Station.

Upper Tunnel Station

Passing through Upper Tunnel Station.

Heading through the tunnel after Lower Tunnel Station which is the steepest tunnel track in the world.

Lower Tunnel Station

Passing by Lower Tunnel Station.

Viaduct Station

Passing by Viaduct Station.

Continuing the journey down.

Passing through the former Abt Passing Loop on the upper section with a preserved 2nd Generation train on the disused side.

Approaching Claremont Station.

Claremont Station

Passing by Claremont Station.

Heading through rock cuttings on Penang Hill.

Approaching the current Abt Passing Loop.

Carrier 1 Pinang runs on the right side of the Abt Passing Loop, taking the direction of looking downwards.

Passing by Carrier 2 Mutiara on the Abt Passing Loop.

Approaching Middle Station after the Abt Passing Loop.

Middle Station

Passing through the platforms at Middle Station.

There is a steep descend after Middle Station which can be quite shocking if you are not prepared.

Taking the steep drop after Middle Station on the connecting line between the former upper section and lower section.

Joining the alignment of the lower section.

Heading through more rock cuttings.

The angle eases off slightly on approach to Lower Station.

Passing by a platform at Thien Kong Than Temple which is fenced up.

Passing by what I think is a maintenance shed for the Penang Hill Railway.

Approaching Lower Station.

There is a maintenance area before the passenger platforms.

The Lower Station utilises the Spanish Solution for platforms where passengers board on 1 side and alight from the other.

I was not able to take a picture at the last moment by the buffer stop of the Lower Station as everybody rushed to get up despite the door still being closed. As the drive station is on the Upper Station, the Lower Station is technically known as the opposite station.

Turning around to the door early too since there’s no way else but out.

Most of the train also had already stood up.

Alighting from the Penang Hill Railway 3rd Generation train.

The empty interior of a regular middle cabin. There is room for 8 people to be seated, with a handrail from the ground in the middle, and mounted by the sides of the train doors.

Heading into the station building to exit.

Looking back at Carrier 1 Pinang, now boarding passengers heading up to Penang Hill.

As tickets need to be individually scanned at the exit, the queue to get out was long, especially when only 2 turnstiles were in use.

To speed up the disembarking process, a Penang Hill staff came round to help passengers scan tickets accurately. The other 3 turnstiles were not in use, despite them being functioning for exit only, and entering passengers use a different turnstiles. I’m not sure if it’s faster to simply operate 3 more turnstiles or to have a staff help out at the only 2 turnstiles working.

With the long queue out, I decided to backtrack to spot the departure of Carrier 1 Pinang heading up Penang Hill and be the last to scan out.

Carrier 1 Pinang heading up Penang Hill once again on her daily affairs.

After the exit turnstiles, there is a souvenir shop selling Penang Hill merchandise.

The Penang Hill Railway train plush toy as seen at Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff is also sold here.

There is also a TBlock building toy of the Penang Hill Railway 3rd Generation train, labelled here as 4th generation contrary to information provided at Penang Hill Gallery @ Edgecliff. TBlock is a knockoff of Nanoblock.

Many other merchandise are also available.

There is also a Penang Hill Station Bakery & Bubble Tea shop, though this is privately operated and not directly operated by Penang Hill Corporation.

From here, I made my journey back to Georgetown by Rapid Penang Bus Service 204.


It certainly felt very normal at Penang Hill Railway (with the exception of mask wearing) with a queue of local and foreign passengers waiting to board the next few trains. Contrary to what Penang Hill is advertising, trains are running at maximum capacity, doing immediate turnarounds once trains arrive at the ends of the line. My cabin was also packed to the brim despite being a noon time descend – perhaps everybody was also thinking of avoiding the rain.

As always, the last part of the journey is the most memorable, and the queue to get out of the platform was the one I remembered the most. I wish Penang Hill Corporation would activate the other 3 turnstiles not in operation rather than to send the entire train scanning individually at only 2 turnstiles.

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