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Hill train service back on track
Reopening tomorrow: The funicular railway track being cleared by workers after the landslide in this filepic taken earlier this month.
December 29th, 2017 | 09:42 AM | 1072 views
The Penang Hill funicular train service will resume tomorrow after it was disrupted nearly two months ago when the tracks were damaged due to landslides.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the final repair work on the tracks was completed on Monday and the train was powered up the same evening for trial runs.
“More tests were conducted to ensure that safety standards were met before the resumption of the service to the public.
“Limited train services have been arranged for business operators and stakeholders from Wednesday till today to enable preparation work for the resumption of the service,” he said at a press conference in Komtar yesterday.
Tonnes of earth and boulders buried the funicular train tracks, forcing it to be closed.
Lim said the recovery team faced numerous challenges, especially the lack of accessibility to heavy machinery, which meant the soil had to be cleared manually.
“Repairing the tracks necessitated the import of spare parts from abroad,” he said.
“There were delays due to the year-end holidays and also an airfreight services strike at Frankfurt Airport, where the supplier is based.
“However, the spare parts finally arrived on Dec 16,” he added.
Lim said although the jeep track from Botanic Gardens to the hilltop had been cleared by the Public Works Department, extensive long-term rehabilitation work still needed to be carried out to prevent further landslides.
“Summit Road, the main road on the hilltop, has been fully cleared.
“Upper Tunnel Road has also been fully cleared, but vehicles cannot access certain spots.
“Clearance work on Lower Tunnel Road is 80% complete. Some sections have been damaged and are not accessible,” he said, adding that soil clearance and tree removal works on Viaduct Road was 70% complete.
Penang Hill Corporation general manager Cheok Lay Leng said only six of the 10 available bypaths were currently accessible.
“Four have been closed to the public for the time being,” he said, adding that the heritage trail is now open and safe for hikers.
courtesy of THE STAR
by The Star
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