The International Steam Pages

Indonesian Narrow Gauge Mallets - Sumatra

This page illustrates examples of articulated steam locomotives - click here for the introduction to Mallet locomotives.

I saw my first Mallet in Indonesia in 1975, I have been through my extensive archive to produce this summary. I confess that many of these pictures appeared in my 'Those were the Days' feature, but here they are presented in a way that will allow a full appreciation of the type in service in Indonesia over the years.

The Oil Palm Estates of North Sumatra

There was much less variety here, only Orenstein and Koppel (OK) and Du Croo and Brauns (DB) types were present and very few of the former lasted by the time I got here. Here are both types together at Bah Jambi on 28th May 1977, the older OK is on the left .

This is another OK, #13, with that company's patent valve gear on the same visit:

#12 was a Dolok Ilir locomotive, probably the last OK Mallet active there, it was working a train of palm oil tankers to the main line connection on a very overcast day in 1979:

DB #51 was outside the shed at at Bah Jambi on 28th May 1977.

DB Mallet #49 brings home a load of oil palm fruits for Bah Jambi on 27th July 1987.

It was a relatively short run from Dolok Sinumbah to Gunung Bayu, but the locomotive crews always found an excuse to have a tea break on the way, just after the junction with the line from Mayang, DB #64 simmers on 17th August 1984. 

Rob Dickinson