The International Steam Pages
Java Sugar Steam 2006 - Private Mills
Rejoagung and Krebet are large efficient mills which got rid of their steam 10 years ago, having used it very little in the years before then. Both have large fleets of diesels. The same company runs the Cirebon mills for the Government, no doubt the attraction was the two new mills at Subang and Jatitujuh rather than the run-down steam mills. They won't be buying diesels for them, more likely, they will shut them down (they have made a start with Gempol, Jatiwangi and Kadhipaten). Trangkil and Kebonagung have the same management who installed modern machinery within the mills but stuck with steam for their railways because 'it did the job'. Now Kebonagung has disposed of its field lines, it will no longer need steam power, similarly Trangkil. Pakis Baru has new mill machinery but kept the steam locos as the best economic proposition until it closed.
My 2002 report stated "The writing is on the wall here, 50 cane loris a day to the fields is very marginal when hundreds of truckloads of cane come in by road". All the field lines were closed (and lifted) between 2002 and 2003. In 2003, 1 and 4 were stored, but both 2 and 3 were in use in the remodelled main yard which now has its own gantries so the old road yard is out of use. The only workings outside the mill are the mud trains which are normally diesel worked. Both 2 and 3 worked again in 2004, although a Japanese visitor later told Jan Wilhelm van Dorp that steam had now finished here..... In fact, when Vic Allen visited in mid-August 2004, the two locomotives were indeed in use. At the end of June 2005, I visited and found 2 and 3 out in the yard, cold, apparently available for service but it was clear they had yet to be used in anger this year. Later I was told by the chief engineer that the quality and quantity of bagasse was insufficient to run them. Visitors in August 2006 found none in use.
Click here for pictures of the Trangkil 2002 roster in steam. This shows 4 leaving the (disused) road yard in 2002, since when it has been purchased by the UK company who took over Hunslet's residual rail interests and repatriated to the UK. To which I might add that it has now suffered the multiple indignity of being regauged (to 600mm), repainted to look like a Great Western bad dream and given non-prototypical number plates. In other words it has become a rich man's plaything rather than a very special loco - the last built for authentic commercial service in the UK.
This is the new Trangkil, a pale imitation of the old operation.
It's enough to make a man visit the cat house north of the mill (on the right of this picture) where all your cares can be eased for just Rp 20000 (U$2.50):
46. PAKIS BARU Mill Index
When the mill finished the 1999 season, the locomotives which had always been immaculately cared for were pushed into the shed and abandoned. I found them still there on 30th June 2002. The mill machinery is expected to be relocated to Lampung, South Sumatra, but the locomotives surely will not go. The mill has been sold to a new company which is keen to sell the locomotives, 1 and 5 were purchased and sent to the UK in mid-2004. The price at which they were sold is bound to raise expectations within Java and unless you have a big bucket of dollars you can most certainly forget about buying one of the others.....
47. REJOAGUNG Mill Index
Only the OK Mallet preserved at the north end of the mill by the road junction remains of the once large fleet of steam locos. Previously reported scrapped, 6 and 8 were in fact transferred to Candi where they survived dumped out of use (at least in 2003).
48. KEBONAGUNG Mill Index
No visits yet, but likely to begin milling in early June but the remaining field lines have closed and in 2003 just one steam locomotive was in use with two diesels around the mill area. I heard informally that steam was not in regular use here in 2004/5. Certainly visitors in August 2006 found none in use. This was 2002:
49. KREBET BARU Mill Index
There are no steam locos left on site.
53. CANDI Mill Index
This mill is not on my map, but is on the old main road just south of Sidoarjo, just north east of mill 32, Tulangan.
Two former Rejoagung locomotives (6, an OK 0-4-4-0T, and 8, a Vulcan 0-6-0T) are stored here. The management is keen to sell them but they are not in very good condition. I did not see them in 2006, they may well have been scrapped.
This mill is not on my map, but is just south-west of the Yogya southern bypass about 4km from its west end - no signposts but look for the cane trucks.
A Borsig 0-4-2T (5171/1903) was brought here from Tersana Baru in 1993. For a while it ran (local) tourist trains but the mill seems to have lost interest and on 10th July 2003 I found it rusty and neglected next to a long line of home made coaches:
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Rob and Yuehong Dickinson