The International Steam Pages


Those were the days... Jatiroto Sugar Mill

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As the largest mill in Java, Jatiroto once had a huge fleet of steam locomotives but was a natural target for modernisation in the 1970s. New diesels displaced steam and the shed became cluttered with wrecks and part repaired locomotives.


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I first went to Jatiroto on 5th June 1978. The season was about to start and the sky was overcast. The most interesting photograph from the visit was of the mill's Ruston steam roller which had been put out to grass but was most likely still serviceable.

Outside the shed was #50 (J) one of the mill's many Maffei 0-4-2T. Kedawung #17 would formerly have been #39 here.

I was back on 29th May 1979, there wasn't much activity but OK 0-4-4-0T # (J) 92 was brewing up outside the shed.

Fortunately my family and I were staying in the mill guest house beside the railway station and walking back to breakfast, I was astonished to see a steam locomotive there. It was one of the mill's two cape gauge locomotives which had not been previously reported. I followed OK 0-4-40T # (J) 143 back to its base which was some distance from the narrow gauge shed as it shunted some newly arrived oil tankers.

By 8th August 1986, there was very little steam activity at all and I rode out with Jung 0-6-0T #100 (the twin of Semboro #29). Over the years the mill has frequently talked of putting this locomotive back together for tourist trains but nothing has ever come of such proposals.


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


Rob Dickinson

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