The International Steam Pages

Those were the days... Ngadirejo Sugar Mill

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Long ago Ngadirejo had one of the largest steam fleets in Java, better still most were Mallets or Luttermöllers! However, during the 1970s, the development of the new Pesantren mill meant that it was stripped of much of its traditional estate and many steam locomotives were transferred away or even scrapped as field lines were abandoned. Steam struggled on in ever decreasing amounts especially when management decided that reverting to bullock haulage was a good way to preserve jobs! 

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My first visit to Ngadirejo was 22nd April 1977 and the season was about to start. There were Mallets everywhere and at the end of the line was OK 0-4-4-0T #151 appropriately decorated for the seasonal celebrations. Like many others, this one ended at Pesantren.

I was back on 2nd June 1978 for some action, DB 0-4-4-0T #214 was shunting some cane - even at this early date it all appeared to be coming by road.

Sister Mallet #207 was on a box van train, the visit wasn't long enough to establish where they were going to..

By the time I returned on 3rd August 1984, there was still plenty of steam activity but operational standards had taken a dive. OK 0-4-4-0T #175 was shunting the delivery yard

It seems that the mill was short of box vans for production cane and a flat car was in use as well, the riders behind DB 0-4-4-0T #224 were no doubt employed to load and unload the bags of sugar.

The most welcome sight during this visit was OK 0-10-0T #263 at work on the cane deliveries. The length of train it could shunt meant that it had work out of the mill into the extended headshunt which was presumably all that was left of one particular field line.

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

Rob Dickinson