The International Steam Pages
Java Sugar Steam 2006 - Central Java North Coast
These mills were operated originally by PNP XV which became part of PNP XV/XVI, subsequently PTP XV/XVI which is now known as PTP Nusantara IX. They have a large number of steam locos, some operating to the fields in the traditional manner but they have the universal attribute of doing most of their most interesting work during the hours of darkness - presumably to balance the road deliveries which tend to be made during the day time. These days the mills charge a uniform RP 50000 per visitor. After a reduction in activity reflecting the industry's problems in 1999/2000, steam activity seemed reasonably stable, until the field lines at Jatibarang and Srgai were lifted! On the dark side it appears beer has been banned from sale in Pekalongan, for the last few years I have had to import some from elsewhere. As far as charging is concerned, mills are now free to set their own charges. Most charge a standard Rp 50,000 per person per visit, but Pangkah was charging Rp 100,000 in 2006, with discounts available for larger groups....
Click here for a photo gallery from the LCGB tour, courtesy of Robin Patrick.
7. BANJARATMA Mill Index
This mill closed at the end of the 1997 season.. Two of its diesel locomotives have gone to Tasik Madu, the steam locomotives were stored and then cut up around 2002/3. The estate still grows sugar as part of the Jatibarang administered area, but virtually all the track has been lifted and the cane goes out by truck. I visited the mill on 4th July 2002. Much of the machinery had been stripped for spare parts and all the non-ferrous material on the locomotives had been systematically removed, officially for other mills but I would guess it had been stolen for scrap. Anyway the locomotives are now absolutely useless.
8. JATIBARANG Mill Index
Although the mill now has two Japanese diesels from Cepiring, steam activity is hanging on here. Likely to have begun milling in early June. In 2003/4 1, 2, 5, 10 and 12 were in use at various times looking much smarter than usual. However, Steve Noon was here in late June 2005 and reports that the field lines have been lifted. Hence the diesels are doing most of the work this year and although the steam locomotives were prepared for use, they were hardly needed. This was the delightful scene in 2003. Bernd Seiler reported three steam locomotives in use in early July 2006, I assume 1, 2 and 5 which I saw in steam in August 2006.
Jung Mallet 9 has been sold to Graham Lee in the UK.
9. PANGKA Mill Index
Likely to have begun milling in early June, with steam at work in the yard as usual. 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 were in use in 2004, repainted orange, although at the end of June 2004, two diesels were on the yard fulls as well as steam. Steve Noon reports the mill as operating more or less normally in late June 2005, we found it it busy with my group in July and very busy in early August on a revisit. This mill is actively promoting agro-tourism and hopes to establish a regular passenger train to a nearby dam - however, there is no money available for the capital expenditure on the track. There is one remaining field line here to the north-east but usually the diesels work it. Bernd Seiler reported four steam locomotives in use in early July 2006 and we saw five in steam in August 2006. Steam activity tends to increase as the season progresses and more bagasse becomes available.
10. SUMBERHARJO Mill Index
Likely to start have started milling in late May. 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 all worked here in 2003/4 but don't expect to see much daylight movement here. In 2004/5, 3 was a regular performer on the ash train, the mud apparently being trucked out. Steve Noon reported that things started out much the same in June 2005 and most visitors saw a fair amount of steam activity round the yard although necessarily most of it involved propelling fulls, as ever the field trains were nearly all nocturnal. Reported to be working 'normally' by July 2006 by Bernd Seiler with seven steam locomotives in use, however I found in August 2006 that it seems the ash train has run its last, trucks being the replacement.
Click here for pictures of the Sragi 2002 roster in steam (except OK 0-8-0T 8 and 19).
Likely to have begun milling in mid June. Sragi was one of 2004's disasters. The field lines were lifted, and only six steam locos (1, 5, 7, 10, 12, 16) were left in use working the road yard with the diesels. Steve Noon reported a similar operation in late June 2005, in early July that year's active locomotives were 5, 7, 10, 12, 16 and 17 as 1 (and also 14) had been sold to Graham Lee in the UK (the purchaser of Trangkil 4 and Pakis Baru 1 and 5, Ceper 5 and Jatibarang 9). At least three of the large Japanese diesels were working alongside them and derailments next to the level crossing (which bring operations to a complete halt) seemed to be endemic. Bernd Seiler reported seven steam locomotives in use in early July 2006. By August 2006, the mill had sufficient bagasse to use eight steam locomotives (5, 7, 8, 12, 16, 17, 19, 20) and only one diesel was in use and that hidden near the mill for most of the time.
12. CEPIRING Mill Index
The mill was closed at the end of the 1997 season. I visited in September 2003 as part of my mill machinery survey. One of the locomotives is dumped outside the shed, the rest are inside with undergrowth rapidly taking over.
13. RENDENG Mill Index
All 6 steam locos here have been in store for more than 10 years except 8 which was transferred to Gondang Baru and used there until they closed their field lines. They were still here on 7th July 2000, looking more and more decrepit although I would guess not beyond salvation.
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Rob and Yuehong Dickinson