The International Steam Pages

Indonesia 1977, Part 4 Kretek Country

Derek Huntriss had what he describes as 'his best ever trip' to Indonesia in 1977. You may like to compare what he saw with what I saw a year earlier in Java although he had less time available and also went to West and Norrth Sumatra. He and companion John Hunt very loosely attached to the Dorridge Travel Group which t hey used for cheap flights, the special train at Ambarawa and also to chase the train between Kediri and Pare. As you will see, he took every opportunity to do a bit of 'riding on the loco'.. I believe these pages will be of special interest to Indonesian enthusiasts who will be very grateful to Derek for making these pictures available. If you are one of them, please respect his copyright and thereby ensure that further such pages will appear from time to time. The "I" in the captions refers to webmaster RD who has actually written most of the captions after reference to Derek - a real role reversal as Derek has often done the same job for a number of books he has helped produce.

See also the other parts:

The large town of Kediri is home to Gudang Garam, the largest Kretek manufacturer in Java. Anyone who travelled here in the 1970s will remember locomen endlessly smoking these cigarettes which blended with cloves left a very distinctive smell. Derek and John opted to visit the area at the same time as the main group as chasing the Kediri - Pare roadside tram was not easy given the paucity of competing public road transport on the adjacent road. All these pictures were taken on 30th July 1977.

The line from Blitar to Kertosono passed through Kediri and had been worked by a variety of motive power, the least interesting of which was the ubiquitous modern D52.seen here on the daily mixed northbound at Kediri in the afternoon with D52070. In the background is the stock for the Pare service:

On arrival at Kertosono, the D52 was put on the turntable where it was well placed for the late afternoon glint:

On this occasion the Pare train was being worked by C2604, sister of C2606 which was perhaps the most regular performer on the line and which was working on the occasion of the 1975 Dorridge visit. At the water stop along the line, the presence of the visitors inevitably brought out hordes of children. The nature of the supply pipe required the driver to stop the train very carefully. It's not clear if the wood had been unloaded so the crew could vacate the cab or to provide fuel for the station master's home:

The party had the use of their own bus and so there was no problem in getting into position ahead of the train and little risk of other traffic getting in the way as it mainly consisted of bicycles::

Nearing Pare, the traffic was non-existent. 35 years later, in the unlikely event of the roadside tram surviving, the photographer would be flattened immediately if he were stupid enough to stand in the same position.

Inside the shed at Pare were four treasures: the solitary B26 tram, further B15 and B17 trams and the solitary B2301.With just one locomotive in steam each day, it would have needed quite a few visits to see all types in steam. (With the willing assistance of the shedmaster, I managed all but the B26 between 1975 and 1978, as well as the inevitable C26. RD)

Click here for Part 5 - The Surabaya Steam Tram

Rob Dickinson