The International Steam Pages
Oil Palm Steam in Sumatra
When I last visited North Sumatra in August 1993, I found steam in terminal decline and have not bothered to go back since. Much to my surprise there have been relatively recent visits here and I am indebted to Rod Farr (6/95) and Geoff Lanham (2/95) from whom the report below is derived. Further news would be much appreciated! All the Mallets are 0-4-4-0T built by DuCroo & Brauns (DB), the only other active locos in PTP VII are 0-6-0s by DB and Maffei. Potential visitors should note that there are good air services to Medan, from where you can take a bus or train to Pematang Siantar. PTP VII's HQ is at Bah Jambi nearby and should be your first port of call. Sawit Sebrang is some way north of Medan. The gauge is 700mm except for the internal system at Dolok Ilir.
Overall it's a long way to go for very little, made worse by PTP VII trying to charge a negotiable fee of U$40 a day per person and quite tight mill security. However, visitors still say they are glad they went if they hadn't been before and the staff at Sawit Sebrang are more relaxed!
The pictures were all taken in the early 1990s. I suspect that few could be taken again in 1998.
PTP II - Sawit Sebrang
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson