The International Steam Pages

Narrow Gauge Diesels in Java's Sugar Mills (Part 3)

Even a dyed-in-the wool steam enthusiast like me cannot fail to appreciate that Java's narrow gauge diesels almost all now qualify as 'heritage' since they were delivered at least 25 years ago, indeed some of those around today have notched up half a century of service. I have never totally 'cursed' the mills' diesels as in many cases the field lines would have closed much earlier if the service had had to be maintained by steam alone. And with 'real' narrow gauge railways around the world in full retreat, Java's estate railways today offer an unparalleled concentration of traditional 'Decauville' railways, complete with temporary track to connect remote cutting areas with the permanent way. During my own early visits from 1975-9, money was short, colour slide film was expensive and there was steam everywhere. Even on later visits into the 1980s and beyond I rarely paid much attention to the diesels and I was amazed when I discovered that over the years I had built up a reasonably comprehensive coverage!

This article is in three parts:

I am very grateful to Ray Gardiner for providing me with a copy of his 'All Indonesia Loco List' which has provided much of the information which follows. Ray's researches continued until his untimely passing.

The other kind of Orenstein and Koppels

Perhaps not surprisingly given the number of their steam locomotives in Java, quite a few OK diesels came here too - the earlier ones were from the Montania arm of the company - see Part 1.

A number of sugar mills have had 4wDM and 4wDH locomotives, one of the former, 13 at Rejosari, was built as long ago as 1952 and was working on 14th September 2003:

This 4wDM loco at Mojopanggung on 16th August 1994 has no visible identification mark. There were two such OKs delivered here in 1955 and 1960:

Similarly unmarked but almost certainly a 1952 4wDM is this locomotive at Krembung, if so it was actually built by Schoema under licence:

Another 4wDM loco is this 1961 built example at Pagottan on 18th August 1997

This is 1955 built 0-6-0DM Kebonagung C5 in 1999, photograph is courtesy of Joachim Lutz.:

This is 1963 built 0-6-0DM Asembagus 8 on 14th September 2002:

Rejosari had several OK diesels, 17, photographed on 24th August 1984 is a similar but slightly larger 1963 model to that above:

Tasikmadu V  is a 4wDH part of the last batch of OKs delivered to the sugar mills in 1966. This picture taken on 10th July 2005 is courtesy of Joop Versluijs.

Lokomotivbau Karl Marx

The former East Germany supplied a complete sugar mill to Indonesia in the mid-1950s which was erected at Madukismo and a batch of 18 0-6-0DH. This was one at the mill on 10th July 2003:

One of them was later sold to Trangkil and is seen here working a mud train on 29th July 2003:

Maschinenfabrik Fritz Schöttler (Diema)

With two Schöttlers building diesels in Diepholz, people like me can be excused getting confused. Someone once told me the relationship between them, but I have long forgotten what it was. I believe Diema is now out of business and there were always fewer of their locos than Schoemas. (There is a picture of a cape gauge Diema on my page about the Forest Railway at Bojonegoro.)

Panji 7 is a typical 4wDM Diema built in 1954, seen at the mill on 30th July 1984.

This Gending loco is another 4wDM Diema, seen at the mill on 29th July 1984; although there is no number visible it will be one of two 1956 built locos.

Rejoagung 5 is a larger 1969 4wDM, photograph is courtesy of Ray Gardiner:

Like Schoema, Diema produced centre cab diesels, this is a 1969 built 4wDM at Rejoagung, however, it was almost certainly delivered with a cab at one end and had a major rebuild at some stage, photograph is courtesy of Ray Gardiner:

Pesantren 12 is a 1972 built 6wDH, this picture taken on 10th August 2008 is courtesy of Joop Versluijs:


Not strictly narrow gauge in the context of Java is this 1954 cape gauge 0-6-0 loco from Ruhrtaler at Tasikmadu. Previously it was used (very occasionally as steam loco X was the preferred power) on the connection to the main line at Kemeri. Despite its apparently good condition, it has not been used for the best part of 20 years or more:

Rob Dickinson