The International Steam Pages
Steam in Java 2005
2004 saw my 23rd visit to Java and I led my 16th tour. Despite my pessimism, everyone agreed that there was still more than enough activity to satisfy the first time visitor and I have been back again in 2005 with my 17th and most likely last public tour (actually rather more when you allow for the years I have run two).
This is the 2005 report, click here for a brief summary of the main news, other reports are available:
In 2002 I produced a series of pages containing photographs of the best steam action then, it's well worth a look but very little of it is still possible in 2010.
The mills are arranged from West to East, North Coast then South Coast with the Private Mills at the end. Click on the mill in the Index below (mills with no link no longer use steam, but may have locos stored on site):
The numbers are those used in the reports.
The Main News in Brief Contents
The rains have continued well into the normal dry season (for those with a memory this last happened in 1996 which was followed by the appalling dry year in 1997). Hence the sugar content of the cane is low which is bad news, but the cane is still growing..... There is a general shortage of bagasse as a result which impinges on steam activity. As usual Indonesia will import about one third of its sugar but these days this is controlled to maintain a sensible market price, the shop price of sugar being around Rp 4500 a kilo. Overall there seems to be little change allowing for the weather and its effects.
PT Keretapi News Contents
I ran 2 specials at Ambarawa on July 9th 2005 using both B25 and E10 as usual.
Click here for the unofficial Ambarawa Railway Museum website.
These are pictures of 2003 trains, 2004 looked much the same as did 2005 except for the weather which was not kind! First E1060 at Jambu:
Here is B2503 during a late afternoon runpast.
Cepu Forest Railway Contents
Regular logging trains ceased some time ago and much of the system has been lifted. The only way to see this unique operation is to organise your own special logging trains which I have done regularly once or twice a year since 1997 and did again in July 2005. However, the political anarchy which is taking over the country has seen large parts of the forest devastated and in September 2001 Perhutani lost its Smartwood accreditation which has stopped legal exports of teak from Indonesia to Europe. They were planting on an 80 year cycle but cutting on a 10 year cycle, now all (legal) logging has been stopped in Java. In 2003/4 we didn't load much wood but we still got some good pictures. There is a full illustrated report of one of the 2002 trips available, the picture below is from 2004.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson