Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Penang Hill Railway

I remember going on the Penang Hill Railway when we were staying at Sandycroft in about 1966. Being a kid, I was fascinated by the journey up and although I've been on funiculars since, in such exciting places as Aberwysthwith and Lynmouth, I've never been on one that was as much fun as the one in Penang. The train started at the small station at the bottom and carried on, slowly, up the steep hill
. My dad filmed the journey and you can see it elsewhere on this blog. Travelling up, I remember seeing Georgetown below and the surrounding area was covered in jungle. I imagined all the monkeys that must have been in those trees. We'd just been feeding them in the Botanic Gardens earlier so I was expecting one to jump on me at any moment. It didn't happen though! There must have been allsorts of wild animals within those trees though I don't remember seeing many of them. I don't think that there were any Tigers in Penang at the time although I see there are plans to open a Tiger Park there now with Tigers brought in from Malaysia. I always think it's a shame when animals are kept in captivity like this.
Once up the railway, there was a viewing point at the top of the hill and I think I remember a small park. From the top, you could see much of Penang. It was certainly a lot cooler up there and many people went on the trip just to get away from the humidity of Georgetown.
We went to Sandycroft three times and I think I remember going on the railway several times although, perhaps, my memory is playing tricks with me and I just remember the journey up and then down again. I haven't been back to Penang since we came home in 1968. I would love to go there again one day and once again travel on the railway. Looking at YouTube, it looks much the same today as it did then.

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