West Sumatra, August 1985.

By the time I made this visit I had a copy of Colin Garratt's book "Iron Dinosaurs" and a copy of Dusty Durrant's book "PNKA Power Parade". I was holidaying with relatives in Singapore and decided to try and visit Java again and perhaps Sumatra as well. Because of the limited time I would have to fly but I also had limited funds. I managed to get a cheap ticket and bookings for a flight to Padang in Sumatra, Padang to Palembang 2 days later, and Jakarta to Singapore 4 days after that. I proposed to travel by train from Palembang to Jakarta. I arrived at Padang in mid afternoon, found a hotel room and then made my way to the station. There were several diesels in the shed and coaches in the station but no sign of steam. The adjacent works was closing for the night and I met the manager. He said I could visit the works the next morning at 7 am, but not take photographs. I was back at the station by dawn. The coaches had gone but I went to the works and waited for the manager who arrived shortly afterwards. I asked about more steam locomotives and was told they were all at Padang Panjang and I was given a permit to photograph them. Apparently several were supposedly serviceable and F1013 was working from there also. I had missed the passenger train so I took a bus there. I saw no working steam - the photographs tell the rest of the story.

Links to other pages on this site.

Home  Indonesian front page    Yogyakarta 1976    Madiun and Surakarta 1976   Ambarawa and north coast 1976   Jakarta 1977  Cirebon 1977    West Sumatra 1985    South Sumatra 1985    Java 1985    Java 1987

These first pictures were take at Padang on 2nd August 1985.

Above: BB30348 & BB30352 outside Padang Works.

Also present here but not photographed was BB30015, while BB30349 was seen on a coal train. I was also told there were six steam locomotives present but could see no sign of them. They were reported as one F10, 2 E10s and three C33s.

Below: BB30350, BB30613 & BB30615 in Padang shed with the works beyond.

Above: Empty stock at Padang station for the early morning train to Lubukalung.

The following morning, August 3rd, I was at Padang Works at the crack of dawn to meet the manager to have a guided tour and an explanation of what was going on. In the first workshop I saw five diesels, an SLM Bo-2-Bo rack BB20405; BB30007 and BB30008 waiting to go to Yogyakarta for overhaul and BB30347 & BB30029 under repair. We then went through to another workshop which contained several steam locomotives, matching the previous evenings report. E1060 and C3325 were both serviceable, C3318 and C3322 were complete, F1015 was undergoing overhaul prior to "export to Canada in 1986" (EXPO 86?). Several E10s were in bits - a boiler had E1062 on it but it could have been for/from E1052, there were cabs from E1005, E1010 and E1017 and cylinder blocks of at least seven E101s. There was a cab numbered C3323. No photography was permitted even in the walled yard where several locomotives had been scrapped, but it was badly overgrown and several snakes were in there.

Seen outside in the shed and yard were BB30349, BB30354, BB30612 & BB30615.

After this visit I went back to the bus station to get a bus to Padang Panjang. The seats all being taken, I stood in front with the driver and this turned out to be a bonus as I was able to photograph several trains as can be seen below.

Below: BB30351 with a Lubukalung to Padang train


Above: This coal train was seen near Silincin at the foot of the mountains.

Below: The same train is seen again moments later as we cross the line.


Above: A section of the rack line between Kajutanam and Pading Panjang.

Below: Moments later we pass another descending coal train with BB20401.

Above: BB20401 passes passes our bus.

Below: A bridge on the rack section in the Anai gorge before Padang Panjang.

Above: 0-10-0RT E1014 at Padang Panjang, which is the summit as far as coal trains are concerned as the line descends through another rack section to Batutabal. A branch line heads northwards up another rack section on the way to Bukit Tinggi and this has an even higher summit.

Below: 0-10-0RT E1007, in front of E1014, is actually younger by a couple of years but both were now out of use. A handful of these were kept serviceable with the others as spares.

Above: 0-10-RT E1061, behind E1014, was only 18 years old but already being cannibalised.

Below: E1061 from the other side.

Above: 0-10-1RT E1014

Below: 0-10-0RT E1007

Above: 0-10-0RT E1053 was one of the last ones in use.

Below: 0-10-0RT E1016 was in the first batch to arrive in 1920 and worked the last steam-powered coal train in 1984 followed by the last passenger train to Bukit Tinggi the same afternoon.

Above: 0-10-0RTs E1016, E1053 & E1051 all worked into 1984.

Below: 0-10-0RT E1051.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1056, E1019, E1054, E1057, E1058, E1063, E1055 & E1059, all except E1019 derelict after less than 20 years.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1056, E1019, E1054 & E1057.

Above: 0-10-0RT E1055.

Below: All that remains of an early E10; E1004, E1008 and E1013 were cut up here.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1055, E1063 , E1058 and the remains of 2 E101's.

Below: 14 of the 16 E10's present can be seen here, the remaining 2 being inside the far shed.

Above: 0-10-0RT E1059 is nearest in this picture.

Below: E1055 ahead of E1063 with E1058 facing the other way, so perhaps it was the regular on the Batutabal section.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1054, E1057, E1058 & E1063.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1056 & E1019.

Above: 0-10-0RT E1016.

Below: 0-10-0RT motion.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1051, E1053 & E1016.

Below: Padang Panjang shed from the yard, E1051 on the left.

Above: A closer view of the shed with E1062 & E1064 in the left road, BB20407 in the middle and BB20408.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1007, E1014 & E1061.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1007, E1014 & E1061.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1007 & E1014.

Above: 0-10-0RT E1061.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1007, E1014 & E1061.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1007, E1014 & E1061.

Below: 0-10-0RT E1062, BB20407 & BB20408. Below is an enlargement of the same picture, E1064 is almost totally hidden behind E1062. These 2 are the standby reserves but it is not known if they were ever used again.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1064 & E1062.

Below: 0-10-0RT E1064.

Above: 0-10-0RT's E1061, E1014 & E1007.

Below: View of Padang Panjang yard from the western end.

Above: View of Padang Panjang yard from the western end.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1061, E1014 & E1007.

Above & below: BB20402 comes up the rack from Kayutanam.

Above: BB20402 enters the yard.

Below: BB20404 comes up the rack.

Above: BB20404 comes up the rack.

Below: 0-10-0RT's E1064 & E1062.

Above: BB20407 & E1064.

Below: BB20401 comes up the rack.

Above & below: BB20401 comes up the rack.

Above: BB20407 & E1064.

Below: BB20401 has failed at the top of the rack section.

Above: BB20401 has failed at the top of the rack section.

Below: BB20401 has been freed only to get stuck on the next point.

Above & below: BB20403 enters the rack section with a loaded coal train for Kajutanam.

Above: BB20403 heads downhill.

Below: BB20401 is now well and truly stuck.

Above: BB20408 comes out of the shed to perform the rescue.

Below: BB20401 is dragged away.

Above: BB20401 has been parked by the office while the staff take a breather.

Below: BB20404 & BB20402.

Above& below: BB20402.

Above & below: BB20402 is attached to another loaded coal train.


Above & below: E1016,E1053 & E1051.

Above: E1056, E1019, E1054, E1057, E1058, E1063, E1055 & E1059.

As I was leaving Padang Panjang more coal trains started to arrive from Batutabal, diesel hauled by BB20409 and BB20406. I had been told that there were more steam locomotives at Solok so I took a bus there. For much of the way the road and railway follow the shore of Lake Singkarek but the only train I saw was a light engine at a level crossing. At Solok it soon became obvious that I was a few weeks too late as all the steam locomotives had been cut up. A photograph in the booking hall showed 2 F10s being cut up. I returned to Padang in the dark by bus and the next morning took a few photographs of trains passing the airport whilst waiting for my flight to Palembang.

Below: Another coal train is arriving at Padang Panjang from Batutabal.

Above: BB20406 propels its loaded train into Padang Panjang yard.

Below: Somewhere between Padang Panjang and Solok, probably near Batutabal.


Above & below: Sad sight at Solok. Just a few weeks before there were 10 derelict locomotives here, C3327, C3328, C3333, C3334, C3336, C3338, F1001, F1014, F1021 & F1028. The Diesel locomotives in the shed were BB30324, BB30325, BB30331 & BB30341.

Above and below: Old coaches lie abandoned at Solok.

Above and below: BB30330 arrives at Solok with a coal train from Sawalunto.

Above: This family party had just arrived at Solok having travelled on the coal train

Below: Looking north from the platform at Solok, BB30330 is still attached to its train so probably waiting for a path to Batutabal where the rack locomotives will take over.

Above: This photo was taken by an earlier visitor and stuck on the door of the station.

Below: BB30352 with the local passenger train from Lubukalung to Padang passes Tabing at 11:40am.

Above and below: BB30352 passing Tabing airport on the way to Padang.

Above & below: BB20408 & BB20403 passing Tabing airport in the way to Padang.

Links to other pages on this site.
Home  Indonesian front page    Yogyakarta 1976    Madiun and Surakarta 1976   Ambarawa and north coast 1976   Jakarta 1977  Cirebon 1977    West Sumatra 1985    South Sumatra 1985    Java 1985    Java 1987

Other links:    Malayan Railway    African Railways    My home page    E-mail me    International steam    Keretapi

Updated 15th February 2016.
You are visitor number to this page.