The International Steam Pages


Those were the days... Asembagus Sugar Mill

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Asembagus still uses steam and I have many nice pictures which are beyond the scope of these page. However, the original fleet is long gone although no doubts bits of it survive in the long grass. At first I thought this was totally due to negligence but it turns out that the water at the mill comes from the acidic volcanic lake at Kawah Ijen. Still it has made for a variety of photographic opportunities over the years.


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I first came to Asembagus on 31st May 1979, I remember it as being very hot. OK 0-4-4-0T #8 was sitting outside the shed.

Obviously I had no idea what to expect and I was taken totally by surprise when Maffei 0-8-0T #3 turned up mid-morning with a set of empty box vans which it had earlier taken to Jangkar port loaded with production sugar bound for Madura.

On 6th August 1986, I was back to photograph the field trains. OK 0-8-0T #5 roared out uphill on the south line with a long set of empties. 

In the afternoon I made my first serious attempt to photograph a loaded cane train here. All seem set fair when the other Maffei 0-8-0T #4 went out a short distance south but the connection with the temporary track was faulty and lori after lori fell off as the bullocks brought them up. By the time the train was ready to go, the cloud cover had built up and the sun was about to set...

Two years later, on 25th August 1988, I was back and this time everything went as hoped for. On this occasion it was #3 doing the honours.

On 19th August 1990, for some reason one of the Maffeis had been renumbered #5, possibly it had been fitted with a boiler of that locomotive. It didn't last long.

By 18th August 1992, the new #5 was formerly Prajekan #5 and the new #3 was the former Prajekan #3. Here it is taking out some morning empties.

By 27th August 1993, #15 and #16 were the formed Pajarakan #3 and #8 although if either ever did any work here I must have blinked and missed it. There were also four Mallets from Jatiroto, three of which were never touched after delivery. The only one which was given a try out was #17 (formerly #99 J) and I would not have been surprised to be told that this was the only time it was ever steamed.


Click here for the 'Those were the days' index page.


Rob Dickinson

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