The International Steam Pages

Those were the days... Tasik Madu Sugar Mill

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Tasik Madu was (and is) the flagship mill of the Yogya/Solo area, being built in grand style for the then Sunan (Sultan) of Solo. Steam survives in quantity here for yard work and the tourist operation but the field lines and the main line connection are long gone.

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I first visited Tasik Madu on 25th May 1979, it was an extremely smart operation with all locomotives jet black, an unusual livery in Java where green, yellow and blue were a much more common choice. OK 0-4-2T #XV was shuffling around some loris loaded with bagasse. 

6th August 1984 was a brilliantly sunny day. BMAG 0-4-0T #XIII posed with Gunung Lawu behind poking out of the cloud. Shortly after we got an even better picture of #1 here but that can't be included here as it is still active and the line still exists just outside the mill compound although #1 would need a serious repaint from its tourist livery! 

Out in the fields afterwards, we tracked down OK 0-10-0 #VI coming in on a long train that seemed to stretch for ever. It was like trying to photograph a long, thin sausage.

Independence Day, 17th August 1988 was another great day for photography. Cape gauge Henschel 0-6-0T #X propelled up some box vans from the main line connection at Kemeri. 

Earlier in the afternoon, Henschel 0-8-0T #2 and OK 0-8-0T #3 had brought in a long train of immaculately presented cane from the south line.

On 26th August 1990, I was staying in the mill's guest house so it was no problem to wait in the fields as OK 0-8-0T #V was in no hurry to return to the mill. As the sun sank lower and lower and finally vanished, I was able to take full advantage of the situation.

Don't believe everything you see on the internet! On 23rd August 1993, our small hotel in Solo had put out a banner to welcome us and I had to have it as a souvenir. The temptation to string it along #VI on our last morning was impossible to resist...

Everything comes to he who waits (patiently). In all the excitement earlier on 6th August 1984, one of the party had dropped a camera accessory and we had to return to look for it. Leaving the mill we admired the view of Gunung Merapi (left) and Gunung Merbabu (right) and even better there was a train coming! Everyone in the group piled out for a totally memorable picture of #XV.

Click here for the 'Those were the days' index page.

Rob Dickinson