The International Steam Pages

Those were the days... Panji Sugar Mill

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Panji had a fleet of small steam locomotives, mainly OK 0-6-0T. Field workings continue today but they have been gradually cut back and the last time I know of a locomotive being steamed was that specially for my tour group in 1991. This was another mill where, with the benefit of hindsight, I had the opportunity to do much better, as it was I saw just two cane trains here..

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I first visited on 30th May 1979, but it was before the season started. When I returned on 30th July 1984, it was briefly and with a tour group. We photographed what was in the yard including OK 0-6-0T #1 and left! There was too much on the itinerary to do justice to every mill.

On 26th August 1988, I paid a morning visit to the mill and discovered that OK 0-6-0T #3 had already gone out to bring in a train left over from the night before. I jumped into a becak and found it on the branch which runs not far east of Olean, here it is rounding the curve to join the main line to the north.

My better ride at Panji was on the afternoon of 2nd August 1986 when I was able to ride out to the north with OK 0-6-0T #4 to collect a train. The advantage of this photographically was shown when I found myself joined by a Japanese enthusiast at the far end. We took in turns to take photographs but I had the inestimable advantage of knowing where the best spots were to jump off and run ahead...

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Rob Dickinson