The International Steam Pages


Indonesia 1973, Part 3 Solo and Ambarawa 

The 'Steam Up Tour' during July/August 1973, organised by the Association of Railway Enthusiasts, Victoria, spent two weeks in Java and a week in Sumatra before going to southern Thailand and Malaysia for a final week. Courtesy of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, I have serendipitously been given the late John Joyce's black and white pictures from the trip and with the encouragement and agreement of his good friend and co-author Allan Tilley I am happy to present this selection from the Java part. About 25% of the pictures were used in their book 'Steam Up - Indonesia and Thailand', I do not think the others have been published before.

Robert Wilson and his wife Helen also travelled on the same tour. Some of his pictures have already appeared on this site:


See also the other parts:


A whole day was spent on the train to Yogya and we pick up up the story on 3rd August 1973 at Purwosari on the outskirts of Solo where BB2210 was in steam, another skirt tank C2007 was behind.

Before leaving Solo a visit was made to the main shed at Solo Balapan where C2819 and C2857 were resident.

At Ambarawa, by then, the rack line to Bedono (and on to Secang) no longer had scheduled trains but B2503 was turned out for the group, seen passing the impressive royal palms between shed and station and afterwards on the 'standard gauge side' where trains from Kedungjati would terminate.

Also in steam, probably as reserve was B2501:

Before departure, the group was treated to the sight of CC5003 departing for Kedungjati which still had a service at the time.

Eventual departure was from the cape gauge (west) side of the station:

It seems in those days, that run pasts were available ascending the rack, charters may have been novel but the local children had caught on very quickly:

Since there is no sign of children on the train, I guess a new batch turned up at Bedono:


Click here for Part 4 - Surabaya and Madura.


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk