The International Steam Pages

PNKA Wallahs  

PNKA Steam Locomotive Diagrams - now available as a free download (2nd March 2012)!

Tony Ford arrived in Jakarta in 1968 and lived there for three years. Mainly together with enthusiast Michael Egan, from a starting position of complete innocence of what existed, he travelled through the country on a voyage of railway discovery. What he found he put together in a slide show ca 1971-2 (with place name spellings of that era), which is reproduced in the linked pages using his own typed commentary which I have only lightly edited. I have deliberately left it in the 'present tense' although everything described was obviously all 'history' long ago. Tony's pictures are mainly of the locomotives themselves rather than 'trains', a remarkable personal collection which I believe no-one else will ever have matched.

With the benefit of the investigations of other later visitors who got to places he did not, we now know that some of his conclusions were not wholly accurate, which is hardly surprising given the state of the country and its railways at the time. Instead of making 'corrections' I have appended notes at the bottom of each page. Bear in mind that at the time Tony started out, Dusty Durrant had yet to visit the country and Dusty's book "PNKA Power Parade" - warts and all -  was not even a gleam in his eye. In particular, Tony's estimates for survivors were in several cases pessimistic, he underestimated the number of deathbed revivals!

As explained in the text, most Indonesian locomotives are numbered using the Japanese system where a letter indicates the number of driving axles, the next two digits indicate the class (10 upwards for tank locomotives, 50 upwards for tender locomotives) and the remaining digits the individual locomotive number. Click below for each section which in turn is linked back to this main page:

  • Introduction - skip this if you are already familiar with the railways of Indonesia.

Java and South Sumatra


These pages came about through my own fascination with Indonesian railways - Tony found my website and emailed me out of the blue. We would both welcome news of the late Michael Egan's Indonesian photographic collection which may be with his widow Evelyn (Wiewiek) Egan or son Iwan (possibly Irwan or Ivan) Egan. If you know them please do ask them to get in touch.

And if you have a similar collection from Indonesia from the same period (up to 1975), I'd like to hear from you too. At that period, steam activity was not very predictable and most visitors were presented with unique and unrepeatable opportunities. Top of my hit list now are colour pictures of a working B20 and B2601 in steam or preferably on a train... I have said more on my Indonesian Railway Archive page.

Some twenty years ago, Michael Egan sold me (via Sheffield Railwayana Auctions) two brass worksplates from the several which he had brought back from Java. I am always looking to extend my collection and am willing to pay a sensible price to fill gaps. As you can see from the pictures, they are extremely attractive and a more tangible souvenir than slides! They look great on the walls at home...

Rob Dickinson