Atjeh Tram 1882-1896

The Atjeh Tramway came into being in the early 1880s when on the 1st January 1882 the then Governor transferred control of Railways from the military KNIL to a civilian Government Department known as Burgerlijke Openbare Werken (BOW), part of the government's civil service. As stated on the KNIL Military Railway page here this department was involved in plans for a narrow-gauge tramway system in the local area. Much later, in the 1890s there were plans for a line to link with Langsa on the east coast opposite Singapore. On the other hand the military also still needed the railway and also required an extension down the eastern coast. In 1884 agreement was reached that the 3' 6" line would be taken up and the trackbed used for the new-born Atjeh Tramway which although operated by the BOW was used extensively by the military for the defence system around Koeta Radja. Local (native) passengers were not permitted to use trains near or on the outer defensive circle.

The initial tramway was planned to connect settlements within about a 5km radius from Kotaradja with spur lines (straallijns) radiating out to an outer line encircling the southern and eastern segments for military defence purposes, see map below. Details of these lines follow with the year of opening:

In 1884 the first straallijn, about 4kms long, was opened between Kotaradja and Ketapang Doea. This gave a continuous line from Ketapang Doea to Oleh-leh once the military line had been converted  to 750mm gauge on 8th June the same year. I have used the same spelling of names as the map.

On 1st August 1884 the second straallijn of about 7 kms opened between Kotaradja and Lambaroe, giving a continuous line from Lambaroe to Oleh-leh of 12 kms.

By this time the first order of rolling stock had arrived, consisting of 5 2-4-0T locomotives from Hanomag, 15 3-axle coaches and 35 4-ton freight vehicles.

In 1885 the last straallijn was completed with the line from Kotaradja to Lam Joeng and a short branch to Pakang Kroeng Djoet, totalling about 6 kms.

In the same year the first sections if the defensive ring were opened from Ketapang Doea north-westwards to Lamdjamoe via Belang and south-eastwards to Lam Reng via Lamara and Lam Peneroit, and also from Lambaroe to Lam Reng. In the same year a sixth 2-4-0T was received from Hanomag.

June 1886 saw the completion of the defensive ring with the opening of the section from Lambaroe to Lam Joeng via Lam Permai, Tjot Iri, Roempit and Boekit Karang. On 18th July the Demmenibrug over the Atjeh river was opened. This bridge was named after the Governor of Aceh, Henry Demmeni, who took on this position in August 1884. Also in 1886 a branch was laid to the military hospital at Pante Pirah.

On 28th January 1889 a bridge was blown up by terrorists who were trying to resist the Dutch takeover between Lambaroe and Lam Reng, and repeated attacks led to another straallijn link being opened between Lam Tehoe and Lam Reng in February 1890 with the Lambaroe to Lam Reng line not being reopened until 1st March 1891.

Although the tram network was built mainly for military purposes civilian passengers used some services but the locals were not permitted on the defensive ring, also known as beam lines.

1894 saw the arrival of two more locomotives from Hanomag bringing the total up to 8.

This portion of map from KITLV Leiden University Library shows the tramway lines as they existed at 1st March 1891, and until the end of 1896, with a total length of about 40 kms.

Above: This map show the relationship between the tramway and the defensive ring around Kotaradja.

Below: This picture almost certainly shows the Atjeh River Bridge opening on 18th July 1886. The locomotive is No 1, built by Hanomag as their number 1556 of 1883.

 

Another picture with a similar train on the same bridge with 2-4-0T No 5.

Atjeh Tramway (northern section) 1897-1903

In 1897 a change in policy resulted in the military switching from a defensive strategy to an offensive strategy. Much of the land they wanted to go through on the way to Segli was in rebel hands so several companies of troops were required to protect the workers and to capture or kill the rebels. Once again the military effectively took control of the railway for their own purposes but continued to allow its use in a public capacity where possible. The line from Ketapang Doea to Lambaroe and the Lam Reng to Lam Tehoe line were dismantled, to be reused on a new section southwards to Gle Kambing. This would become an extension of the line from Olehleh (Km 0) to Lambaroe (Km 12). Work started in June 1897 via Samahani (Km 21), which had already been occupied in August 1896, and the 15 Km line to Gle Kambing (Km 27) was opened to the public on 15th November 1897. By this time a ninth 2-4-0T had arrived from Hanomag.

January 1898 saw the start of a further 18km section to Seulimeum (Km 45) which opened on 1st November 1898. This section was quite hilly requiring a lot of earthworks and major bridges, and a gradient of 1.5% which proved a bit too much for the 2-4-0T locomotives so two 0-6-0T locomotives were ordered and delivered from Hanomag in 1898.

Before the next section could be built the Dutch army had to deal with a large number of rebels encountered when they marched from Segli to Padang Tidji to protect the engineers sent to survey the mountain section between there and Seulimeum. The next section was thus started in 1898 from Segli (Km 93) through Padang Tidji (Km 80) to Keude Breueh (Km 75), reached in 1899. The Dutch Government then decided that it was highly desirable to build the coastal line from Segli to Tamiang, some 350 kms to the south-east in order to provide sufficient personnel and equipment for the pacification of the region. Work was thus temporarily stopped on the mountain section until funding became available. In mid 1901 the remaining belt line between Lambaroe and the military depot was lifted, leaving  just a 45km isolated line with just a few short branches.

2-4-0T on a bridge near Lambaroe.

Atjeh Tramway (southern section) 1900-1907

The 1900 budget provided funding for the section between Segli (Km 93) and Lho Seumaweh (Km 251) and work started at both ends while hostilities continued in the middle of this section. The section between Segli (Km 93) and Meureudoe (Km 139) was officially opened on 20th November 1901 and by the end of February 1902 works trains were running as far as Keude Djanka Boeja (Km 148). In the southern section things were not so smooth with bandits and flooding causing damage to bridges so it was not possible to run trains through the entire section until 1904. A branch line about 6 Kms long was built from Beureunoem (Km 106) to Lam Meulo in to serve a large military camp which was set up in 1906.Two opening dates have been given for this, being officially 15th June 1906 but the Deli Courant of 5th February 1913 states the line was opened in early 1913. It is possible that prior to that date it was used for military purposes only and in 1913 it was opened for public use. The picture below show an 0-6-0TT locomotive with auxiliary tender with the train used for the opening ceremony.

The 1901 budget provided funds for the section from Lho Seumaweh (Km 251) to Edi (km 349) and this was opened on 1st April 1904. Work was also proceeding towards Langsa (Km 413) by this time and this was completed towards the end of 1907.

0-6-0T 16 has come to grief near Samalanga

Atjeh Tramway (mountain section) 1903-1908

In November 1903 construction was started from both ends and in the length of just 30 Kms there were to be 1,555 metres of bridges and viaducts. The first official train ran through between Kotaradja and Segli on 1st March 1908. During this period a large number of new locomotives were ordered. A tenth 2-4-0T came from Hanomag and an 11th was built locally at Koetaradja workshops, several small batches of 0-6-0T locomotives were ordered from both Hanomag (27) and Werkspoor (15) as was a batch of six 0-4-4-0T Mallets from Esslingen, presumably for the mountain section. This gave a total of 59 locomotives built by 1904. Once the new connection became established a new workshops, locomotive depot and carriage shops were established at Segli and the workshops at Koetaradja were closed. Sigli later produced a 12th 2-4-0T. At least some of the 0-6-0T locomotives had matching tenders, whether these were supplied new with the locomotives or later I do not know. The Mallets were soon rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T with extended cab and bunker and one of these appeared in an early photograph which has been dated 1910.

Above: AT 52 in as built condition as an 0-4-4-0T.

Below: A rebuilt 0-4-4-2T on a bridge in the mountains.

Above: AT 51 as rebuilt to an 0-4-4-2T.

Below: AT 54 as rebuilt to 0-4-4-2TT with an auxiliary tender.

Atjeh Tramway completion 1910-1917

After a 2-year pause in construction funds became available to continue and the section to Kuala Simpang, before the bridge over the Tamiang River, was opened to the public on 2nd September 1912. The 228 metre long bridge was completed on 31st December 1913 allowing access to Kuala Simpang (Km 445). In 1914 the line had reached Sungei Lipoet and By the 1st February 1916 had reached Besitang (Km 486). The line from Besitang used the same alignment as the existing Deli Railway by creating a dual gauge "siding" to Pangkalan Susu (Km 495) in 1917, this being a port on the Aru Bay.

Above: AT 36 0-6-0TT with auxiliary tender. Presumably these were added for the longer journeys.

Below: AT 11, an 0-6-0T delivered in 1898.

Aceh State Railways (ASD) 1916-1942

With the Civilian authorities once again taking over the railways the name was changed again, as above. There was also an alternate name Asai Sampai Sadja (ASS). Total length including sidings (branches) was 511 Kms. In 1922 Werkspoor supplied two4-6-0 locomotives and these were followed in 1930/31 by 12 2-8-0 locomotives, 6 each from Ducroo & Brauns and Hanomag.

 

 

Locomotive data

AT 1 1922 1945 Manufacturer Works # Year Type Cylinders mm D.W. Dia Owner Notes
                     
1 1 B1 Hanomag 1556 1883 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
2 2 B2 Hanomag 1557 1883 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
3 3 B3 Hanomag 1558 1883 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
4 4 B4 Hanomag 1559 1883 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
5 5 B5 Hanomag 1560 1883 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
6 6 B6 Hanomag 1853 1885 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
7 7 B7 Hanomag 2628 1894 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
8 8 B8 Hanomag 2629 1894 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
9 9 B9 Hanomag 3039 1897 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
10 21 C21 Hanomag 3198 1898 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
11 22 C22 Hanomag 3199 1898 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
12 10 B10 Hanomag 3210 1899 2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
13 23 C23 Hanomag 3371 1900 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
14 24 C24 Hanomag 3372 1900 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
15 25 C25 Hanomag 3373 1900 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
16 26 C26 Hanomag 3374 1900 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
17 27 C27 Hanomag 3567 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
18 28 C28 Hanomag 3568 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
19 29 C29 Hanomag 3569 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
20 30 C30 Hanomag 3570 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
21 31 C31 Hanomag 3571 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
22 32 C32 Hanomag 3572 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
23 33 C33 Hanomag 3629 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
24 34 C34 Hanomag 3630 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
25 35 C35 Hanomag 3631 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
26 36 C36 Hanomag 3632 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
27 37 C37 Hanomag 3633 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
28 38 C38 Hanomag 3634 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
29 39 C39 Hanomag 3635 1901 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
30 40 C40 Werkspoor 44 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
31 41 C41 Werkspoor 45 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
32 42 C42 Werkspoor 46 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
33 43 C43 Werkspoor 47 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
34 44 C44 Werkspoor 48 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
35 45 C45 Werkspoor 49 1901-2 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
36 46 C46 Werkspoor 88 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
37 47 C47 Werkspoor 89 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
38 48 C48 Werkspoor 90 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
39 49 C49 Werkspoor 91 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
40 50 C50 Werkspoor 92 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
41 51 C51 Werkspoor 106 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
42 52 C52 Werkspoor 107 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
43 53 C53 Werkspoor 108 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
44 54 C54 Werkspoor 109 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
45 55 C55 Hanomag 4042 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
46 56 C56 Hanomag 4043 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
47 57 C57 Hanomag 4044 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
48 58 C58 Hanomag 4045 1903 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
49 11 B11 Koetaradja     2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
50 71 BB71 Esslingen 3271 1904 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
51 72 BB72 Esslingen 3272 1905 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
52 73 BB73 Esslingen 3273 1906 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
53 74 BB74 Esslingen 3274 1907 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
54 75 BB75 Esslingen 3275 1908 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
55 76 BB76 Esslingen 3276 1909 0-4-4-0T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT Later rebuilt to 0-4-4-2T
56 59 C59 Werkspoor 131 1904 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
57 60 C60 Werkspoor 132 1904 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
58 61 C61 Hanomag 4246 1904 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
59 62 C62 Hanomag 4247 1904 0-6-0T 270 x 350 875 mm AT  
60 12 B12 Sigli     2-4-0T 235 x 350 875 mm AT  
61 81 C81 Werkspoor 516 1922 4-6-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
62 82 C82 Werkspoor 517 1922 4-6-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  101 D101 Ducroo & Brauns 197 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  102 D102 Ducroo & Brauns 198 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  103 D103 Ducroo & Brauns 199 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  104 D104 Ducroo & Brauns 200 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT D200?
  105 D105 Ducroo & Brauns 201 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  106 D106 Ducroo & Brauns 202 1931 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  107 D107 Hanomag 10748 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  108 D108 Hanomag 10749 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  109 D109 Hanomag 10750 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  110 D110 Hanomag 10751 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  111 D111 Hanomag 10752 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
  112 D112 Hanomag 10753 1930 2-8-0 290 x 400 875 mm AT  
                     
    C71 Nippon Sharyo 1957 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C72 Nippon Sharyo 1958 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C73 Nippon Sharyo 1959 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C74 Nippon Sharyo 1960 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C75 Nippon Sharyo 1961 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C76 Nippon Sharyo 1962 1962 2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT  
    C77   1963   2-6-0 290 x 460 875 mm AT Possibly a rebuild of CC74 in 1968?
                     
    BB81 Nippon Sharyo 2004 1962 0-4-4-2T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT  
    BB82 Nippon Sharyo 2005 1962 0-4-4-2T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT  
    BB83 Nippon Sharyo 2006 1962 0-4-4-2T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT  
    BB84 Nippon Sharyo 2007 1962 0-4-4-2T 275 + 420 x 450 875 mm AT  

 

Above: 0-6-0T AT 18 has come to grief on a bridge.

Below: a 2-4-0T crossing Demmenie bridge with a passenger train.

 

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Updated 27th January 2016.
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