The International Steam Pages

Those were the days... Kanigoro Sugar Mill

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Kanigoro is right on the edge of the expanding town/city of Madiun and its fields have gradually been built over. As such it has been very much 'at risk' in recent years. Despite the loss of the field lines, steam clung on here for a long time because the mill had just two diesels, although with the loss of the mud train the amount of steam activity today is minimal.

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My first visit to Kanigoro was on 15th May 1976 after a morning chasing a B50 up from Ponorogo to Madiun. I could have done with it being a gentle afternoon so I boarded Borsig 0-6-0T #3 to ride out into the fields - in my innocence I had not realised it would not return until long after dark and I had a long walk back to a main road...

My 1978 visit was very brief but on 26th May 1979, my entire family rode out with OK 0-8-0T #2 with the afternoon mud train - they are perched on the tender. Alas the weather was dire, even Photoshop can't really rescue this one...

It was birthday time for me again on 4th August 1984 and I celebrated by watching Vulcan Iron Works 0-6-0T #5 go out with the mud train.

I was on my way to Pagottan on 15th August 1986 when I saw a Kanigoro train coming in from the fields with OK 0-8-0T #4 in charge. It was too good an opportunity to miss as such daylight trains were now very rare in the Madiun area.

On Independence day, 17th August 1994, I was travelling with Lie Tjeng Chiao and Ross Sadler. OK 0-8-0T #6 went out with some empties in the late morning - the remains of the Madiun to Ponorogo branch are in the foreground.

#2 had been a regular choice for the mud train at Kanigoro for very many years when I photographed it outside the mill on 1st August 1997. These days unfortunately the mud goes out by truck.

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

Rob Dickinson