The International Steam Pages
Java Sugar Steam 2002 - Far Eastern Mills
These mills are run by PTP Nusantara XI, formed in 1996 by the amalgamation of PTP XX and PTP XXIV/XXV. These mills were previously PNP XXIV/XXV and before that PNP XXIV and PNP XXV. The Situbondo area is definitely 'unspoiled Java', with facilities at the beach 'resort' of Pasir Puteh to match - in other words, gricers' heaven. If you want luxury, then try the new Hotel Rosali in Situbondo itself. For Semboro, stay in Jember which has hotels for all pockets, unfortunately there is nowhere to stay in Tanggul. Of course, Olean has long been firmly in my top few mills.
I think Panji, Wringinanom and Asembagus have the best medium term prospects of survival. In 1999/2000, even around Olean I could see much less new cane, although 2001/2 saw some recovery. All of which amounts to bad news for the steam locos. One final small word of warning, many of the working girls at Pasir Puteh are more 'working' than 'girl'....
33. KEDAWUNG Mill Index
After some years of running special trains here with OK 14 and Breda 16, I have given up because the management will not plough the income I generate into minimal maintenance. This is what happened to 14 in 2001, 16 was not even lit up... (I believe a Japanese group got 14 in action at the end of June.)
34. WONOLANGAN Mill Index
Steam could best be described as 'long out of use'. One locomotive was allegedly serviceable in 2001 but there was a huge hole in its spark arrestor chimney and no doubt several others in more critical areas.
35. GENDING Mill Index
The four steam locos here spent most of the last ten years in store although in the early 90s a couple were used occasionally as some kind of job creation scheme. The cost of annual boiler inspections put a stop to this. OK Mallet 4 is now at the Frankfurter Feldbahnmuseum, the other three are still stored in the shed.
36. PAJARAKAN Mill Index
There is no possibility of the two remaining steam locos being put back into action.
37. JATIROTO Mill Index
This mill has had the biggest collection of disused and dismantled locos in Java for many years.
38. SEMBORO Mill Index
Firelesses 2 and 3 were working as usual behind the mill. There is no longer any active conventional real steam here. In 2002, Jung 0-6-0T 29 was steamed as reserve but was not needed as OK 0-4-4-0T Mallet 15 repeated its 2001 outings. This is one of our specials, we had two mainly cloudy afternoons .
39. DE MAAS Mill Index
This mill did not work in 2000 and will remain closed. The two locos are still here in the shed (although 3 has gone to Asembagus).
40. WRINGINANOM Mill Index
I asked the management to repair 6 for my group visit (it would take about a week according to shed staff) but they declined. This must be the end of steam here.
There is a mill system map on the Olean Heritage Page. On June 28th I found 1, 4, 5 and 7 working normally under the rapt attention of 5 Japanese. I parked my car at the mill at 13.45 and hitched a lift on a truck to Semering from where I rode in 5. I then found 7 coming in from Gelung with a tourist bus (!!) in hot pursuit down the dirt track (if you have been to Olean then you too will find the thought amazing) and then 1 was coupled up for a spontaneous double header.... At which point I left for Bondowoso safe in the knowledge that there is more cane to be cut here than has been for several years.. I was here off and on from 10th to 16th September. The mill was extremely busy and there seemed to be enough cane to keep it going well into October. We saw no less than three double headers on the Semering line, one was in the dark, the thrash and the fireworks were stupendous!
Click here for more Olean steam action.
Passing through Duwet
I was back next day and concentrated on the line from Gelung (where I would now have no competition as the Japanese could not afford more than one afternoon at Olean). 7 and then 1 brought in trains: This was the first time I had seen 1 on a full train since it (re-)entered service in 2001.
July 23rd was a quiet afternoon, just one train appeared to have run and was back at the mill by 14.00. The following day, all 4 locos were in use on all lines and trains appeared at 13.30, 14.00, 15.15, 15.40 and 16.00. However, the weather was only average. The next day, the weather was excellent and there were trains at 13.30, 14.30, 15.30 and 16.00. Fabulous!
My second group was here on July 31st/August 1st. Again the system was very busy.....
42. PANJI Mill Index
I dropped by in August 1999 and it was quite clear that there is now no prospect of any of the steam locos here running again. I had previously described the locos here as 'stored' and although superficially they look OK, most of the non-ferrous fittings have been removed for the other mills in the area. For those who like that kind of thing (I would use the word 'pervert' but that is what my ex-wife calls me) then the little diesels look quite nice on the road side field trains.
This is Panji 7 with its unusual motion...
43. PRAJEKAN Mill Index
The serviceable smaller locos were reallocated to De Maas and Asembagus some years ago. The other locos remain in store, a tragic end for the magnificent Luttermöllers.
5 has expired with boiler failure, 0-8-0T 3 has been renumbered 10 and 0-6-0T De Maas 3 (2) is here as 11. On 27th June, both were due to work south of the mill in the afternoon but in the event only 11 did so before dusk. It was sent to collect 13 cane loris from about 2km out. A combination of a big derailment on the temporary track and loose couplings which came undone delayed our return as usual, although the crew did their best to assist photography on this tender first working. Olean it is not, but it was good to experience field working again here after a long break. 11 performed for my group with a couple of vans on the south line on July 25th and on the east line on August 2nd. On the second occasion we stayed on and found 11 at work on the east line in the afternoon too. On 12th/13th September I stayed at the mill guest house to ride the trains. On the first day 10 and 11 were in action on the south line. On the second day, there was only diesel activity and we rode out with an old OK diesel almost to the edge of the Strait of Madura where I had time for a swim....
Click here for my private afternoon at Asembagus.
My tour groups did very well here this year:
This is 11 on a cane train on the east line.
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Rob and Yuehong Dickinson