The International Steam Pages


The Surabaya Steam Tram 1973

Robert Wilson and his wife Helen partook in a tour during August 1973 organised by the Association of Railway Enthusiasts that spent two weeks in Java and a week in Sumatra before going to southern Thailand and Malaysia for a final week. One of the highlights of the visit was the Surabaya Steam Tram. (The following pictures were variously taken on 5th August and 8th August. I (RD) have tried to put them in rough geographical order but bear in mind that the tram last ran 35 years ago and my memory is not perfect. Corrections will be most welcome.)


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B1240 enters the station area of Wonokromo Kota with a train from the port.

and then enters the actual station.

This is Wonokromo Shed with B1221 in steam inside.

B1221 inside the shed at Wonokromo

B1221 with Wonokromo Kota Station behind.

A side view of B1221 at Wonokromo

Between Wonokromo and the city centre was a double track section which ran in the central reservation of a dual carriageway.

B1245 is seen here in both shots
On board a B12 at the point where the double track becomes single track as it prepares to enter the crowded Chinatown area.

B1245 has to negotiate a street full of bicycles and becaks.

B1245 stops opposite the old Surabaya Kota station with a BB301 or BB304 in the picture. The papers are for recycling and bottles were also unloaded here. B1245 whistles furiously at leaves a narrow street.
Seconds later it meets a policeman going the other way  and then vanishes down a narrow street.

B1245 crosses a street.

Most of the buildings in this area appear to be traditional Chinese shophouses.

On board a train with B1245 in charge in a crowded street

and then approaching a disused passing loop

Crowds gather around the loco.

B1245 pauses at a busy market. 
B1245 nears its journey's end  and approaches the port, with the lifting bridge 'Jembatan Petekan' in the background.

With the aid of Duparc's book Trams en Tramlinjen (ISBN 906007 582 X), I (RD) have sketched out my best guess of the route of the tram using Google Earth, the break point is Surabaya Kota Station. I haven't shown the final stretch to the docks, it's quite obvious as it paralleled the 'river'. I hope one of our Indonesian readers can take a walk through Chinatown and see if any trace remains, some 10 years ago tracks were visible in places.

Similarly, I have not included the roadside section beyond Wonokromo out to Karang Piland as Bob did not visit this section.


Rob Dickinson

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