The International Steam Pages

Java Sugar Steam 2006 - Central Java South Coast

These mills were operated originally by PNP XVI which became part of PNP XV/XVI, subsequently PTP XV/XVI which is now known as PTP Nusantara IX. It took me a long time to sort out these mills because this was not an interesting area for main line steam in the 70s. In their prime Gondang Baru and Tasik Madu provided some of my favourite rides and photos. However, this area has really prospered in recent times which means that the mills have suffered badly from loss of labour (to new factories) and growing land (to housing as the towns and cities expand). Future prospects for steam (and its mills) are very poor with Kalibagor, Ceper Baru and Colomadu reported closed during the 1998 season. I would not expect Gondang Baru to last much longer (as a mill) and standards at even Tasik Madu have slipped in the last few years.

Click here for a photo gallery from the LCGB tour, courtesy of Robin Patrick.

14. KALIBAGOR Mill Index

Closed at the end of the 1997 season. 4 and 5 were transferred to Sumberharjo in 2000, probably leaving only 7 here as 6 went to Gondang Baru some years ago. 7 is now at Gondang Baru, quite why I don't know!

15. GONDANG BARU Mill Index

This mill did not use its steam locomotives in 1999 and closed its field lines. Unlikely to have used them at all since then although (former Rendeng) 8 is allegedly kept as spare.

16. CEPER BARU Mill Index

Closed at the end of the 1997 season. 7 and 8 have appeared at Gondang Baru, presumably for the museum although 8 was later sold to Graham Lee in the UK.

17. COLOMADU Mill Index

Closed at the end of the 1997 season. On 21st September 2002, I found the 4 remaining steam locos locked up with the mill derelict - all electrical equipment had been removed but there were still many stationary engines left. 

18. TASIK MADU Mill Index

Click here for pictures of the Tasik Madu 2002 roster in steam. Milling will most likely have begun in late May, with the same six locomotives as in 2004/5 (III, V, VI, 5A, 7A, XIV with I in reserve). In 2005, the extended wet season meant that bagasse was in short supply at the end of June, so only III, V and 7A were in use in early July. Consequently, the two larger diesels were working the longer run double-headed and the mud in the yard area was leading to frequent derailments owing to settlement of the tracks. Alas, the vertical boiler steam roller could not be steamed for my group because of a last minute failure - click here for it in action in 2003. VI was steamed specially for my group in mid-July as the bagasse shortage continued. By mid-August things had returned to normal with V and VI on the haul round the side of the mill. Bernd Seiler found the usual locomotives at work in mid-July 2006 - there are tourist trains here with I at the weekends. They have now drastically increased their charges to Rp 100,000 per person per visit, discountable on request for large groups. 4, 7 and 15 have been stuffed and mounted minus all fittings, rods, tanks etc.

Pride of Tasik Madu

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Rob Dickinson