All about railways in Indonesia (beware of HD pics)

.. thankz arya, for the memory of my father ..
i've been less on the forum and in the game the last few months for all kinds of reasons that i won't list here .. but no less respect for your messages from my fatherland, while i now live very contentedly in my motherland ..
be well, my "rootsfinder" .. dif-tor heh smusma
No problem, I would always remember your father's career as part of my duty to preserve the memory of Indonesian's railway in the past and present for the sake of future generations. ;)

On the other hand, I would introduce another masterpiece of railway structure constructed by Staatsspoorwegen in the past:


(original photo by BennoV from this tweet)

This is the Rancagoong Bridge of Ciwidey Line that was closed in 1982 due to low ridership caused by motorization and rapid (yet sporadical) development of regional buses. While this bridge is still intact (along with the rails, though no longer in the same condition before the closure), one of unique thing of this bridge is the fact that this bridge combines both arch bridge (built using stone) and steel truss bridge. As this bridge is now repurposed as a shortcut for local people to reach main road that connects Soreang and Ciwidey, the steel truss bridge section had been paved with concrete while keeping the original rails and wooden ties in place. In the near future, this bridge would see the return of train all the way to Ciwidey, as both Indonesian Railways and the government of West Java province agreed to reactivate Ciwidey Line as part of attempt to reduce traffic congestion on main road, along with the Cikajang Line, Tanjungsari Line (forcibly closed and torn off by Imperial Japanese Army for construction of wartime railway back in WWII) and Pangandaran Line.


Time to revive this thread again with a news:


(from @keretaapikita, the official account of Indonesian Railways)

Indonesian Railways recently purchased a brand new Plasser & Theurer EM120 track recording car for Java divisions, scheduled to be allocated to Bandung depot in the following months. Unlike the earlier first generation unit of the same type delivered in 1995, this second generation unit features modern laser-based track recorder equipment (eliminating the need for using measuring wheels installed on the bogies, as found on older generation ones). And this unit is also fitted with equipments for recording the condition of overhead line in both Jakarta and Yogyakarta divisions, which became the reason why it has slightly longer body than the first ones (though this unit is not the first one to function as overhead line measurement car, as Ministry of Transportation of Indonesia already operated INKA-built overhead line measurement car a few years ago).
A few pictures of railways in Indonesia taken by my Twitter account followers:

1. CC201 69 in its classical DKA cream and dark green color (taken by Tri Bintang Setiawan)


2. Latest unit of Plasser & Theurer Duomatic 09-32CSM multiple tie tamper that starts its operation in 2021 (taken by Ikko Haidar Farozy)


3. Former Musashino Line 205 series EMU speeding through the outskirts of Bogor city (taken by Raihan Fahim)


4. CC201 (probably) meets with one of the bus of Batik Solo Trans at the street running section of Wonogiri line that runs for the whole length of Slamet Riyadi street between Purwosari and Solo Kota (taken by Angin Elanda Jagat)




Thought there will not be something like this in real world and can only happens in Trainz... But it's a reality that a Chinese Dongfeng 4 greeted by Indonesian CC201...

Indonesian Railways started its program to reopen Sawahlunto - Muarakalaban section of Sawahlunto Mainline for steam-hauled tourist train, which had been suspended since 2014 due to internal malfunctions within the boiler and firebox that prevents Sawahlunto-based E1060 from operating in proper condition. As the section of this mainline past Kayu Tanam station (all the way to Sawahlunto station) had been declared as "closed for all traffic", the rails had to be dug and cleaned from soil that covered the track, along with replacing old ballast stones with new ones. On the other hand, E1060 is currently under the care of maintenance staffs dispatched from Ambarawa Locomotive Depot for solving technical problem that suffered this locomotive.


Muarakalaban station is the de facto starting point of Muaro Line, a branch line that originally intended to became part of Padang - Pekanbaru mainline but was subsequently halted at Muaro by the then Staatsspoorweg ter Sumatra's Westkust (SSS, predecessor of today's Indonesian Railways West Sumatra Division) due to The Great Depression in early 1930s. The section past Muaro itself was then built by the invading Imperial Japanese Army back in World War II for war purpose, only to be completely abandoned some time between September 1945 and April 1946. The abandonment itself was caused by several reasons, though poor quality of construction works done by forced labors and the route that was hastily changed by Japanese to reduce time needed for constructing the line (in contrast to those recommended by civil engineers of SSS) were largely contributed to the very early demise of this line.
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This video shows the current state of Sawahlunto station that is now functioning as a museum, but having the tracks already cleared from soil and concrete that covered the track and is ready to have new ballast spread underneath the rails and steel ties. It must be noted that the former coal loading silos and tracks located a few hundred meters to the north of Sawahlunto station are still intact, even they became part of heritage site for remembering the once busy coal mine town of Sawahlunto.

While the heritage site itself has a small park (complete with playground for children) that is directly built on the site where coal trains once waiting for its turn to be loaded before heading back to Teluk Bayur port (yes, the majority of rails are still there!), the bridge that connects Sawahlunto station with the coal loading site is also still there, with one of the bridge is now becoming a small road bridge for pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle (of course the rails are also left intact). But with the Siemens & Halske mechanical signals of this station were already decommissioned (yet they're still there), it is clear that they would unlikely seeing regular trains coming from Padang for now, as the section past Kayu Tanam to Muarakalaban is still marked as "closed for traffic".
Still related to the West Sumatra division of Indonesian Railways:


(original photo possibly taken by the late M.M. Purbo, scanned by Ardina Purbo and uploaded to internet by myself with her permission)

My aunt sent me one of the old photo possibly taken by her late father sometimes between late 1960s and early 1970s, of which the photo shows E1051 pulls a string of flat cars carrying log toward Solok station on the section running along Singkarak lake. Everyone could see that the line primarily uses a mixture of steel and wooden ties, which was common for the majority (if not all) of railway lines in Indonesia (except steel bridges, which of course still uses wooden ties even now).

E1051 was the first of 17 2nd batch units*1 of E10 series locomotives purchased by the then PNKA (Perusahaan Nasional Kereta Api) for reinforcing its fleet of rack rail steam locomotives in West Sumatra division, because in late 1960s they only have 3 units of D18 series (former SSS101 - SSS103, later D1801 - D1803) and 22 units of 1st batch of E10 series (pre-independence type; former SSS104 - SSS125, later E1004 - E1025) that would be not enough for handling coal trains from the mine at Sawahlunto to Teluk Bayur port through rack rail section between Kayu Tanam and Batu Tabal, as well as regular trains that running from Padang to Sawahlunto or from Padangpanjang to Payakumbuh. 2nd batch units featured some design changes that making them became different if compared with 1st batch units, such as incorporation of Giesl ejector, installation of double shield beam headlights and higher fuel bunker that allows more amount of fuel to be loaded. Unfortunately E1051 was scrapped sometimes in mid-1980s due to the arrival of 1st batch units of Swiss-built BB204 series diesel locomotives in 1982, which has better efficiency and performance even if compared with 2nd batch E10 series locomotives.

*1 : 2nd batch units were intentionally having it's number separated from 1st batch units due to slightly different design and specifications, which became the reason why the number of these units starts from E1051, not from E1026. Early 10 units (E1051 to E1060) of this group were built by Maschinenfabrik Essligen (ME) in Germany, while later 7 units (consisting of E1061 to E1067) were originally allocated to ME for its production but diverted to Nippon Sharyo in Japan due to decision from ME to stop the production of steam locomotives in mid-1960s.

1. Indonesian Railways had recently completed the modification of two ordinary 1st class coaches into sightseeing coach, equipped with large windows for enjoying panorama from the train. Because the modification work is done by Surabaya Gubeng works, the trial run itself was conducted on main lines around Surabaya.


(taken from video originally recorded and uploaded by Yusril Rizky Pratama)

K1 0 99 16 and K1 0 01 11 are the two 1st class coaches that were modified into sightseeing coaches, which both of them formerly used by overnight train "Gajayana" (Gambir - Malang) before they were replaced by newer coaches in 2009. As these coaches were allocated to Jakarta Kota depot, they bear "JAKK" identifier code written near the number. However, some of fans were getting worried about the panoramic windows, as they became vulnerable to stone throwing done by children living in slum area, especially in Jakarta (even someone said that the section from Jatinegara to Cakung is the most dangerous area for these coaches due to lots of stone throwing cases, especially if there is a riot incident nearby).

2. Electric locomotive #3201 of former Elektrische Staatsspoorwegen (ESS) made a return to main line in Jakarta with special coaches numbered IW-38212 and IW-38221 (both of them were formerly sleeper coach type SAGL-9000 introduced by Staatsspoorwegen in 1938), with the trial run was conducted between Manggarai and Tanjung Priok.


(original photo by Nur Wira Tirta Adikusuma)

Although the locomotive itself is actually former ESS3202 masquerading as ESS3201 (as the real ESS3201 was destroyed after head-on collision with another train pulled by BB201 near Depok station in 1960s due to failure of electromechanical block equipment) and uses electrical equipments salvaged from KL3-76 series EMU for restoring it into operable condition (as well as modifying it to allow the usage of air brake), but this locomotive became eyewitness of the history of railway electrification in Indonesia. Unfortunately the usage of blue color for this locomotive (after restored into operable condition) was heavily criticized by rail fans, especially from those who conducting research on historical fact of railways in Indonesia, as the color is historically incorrect for such locomotive (pre-independence: brown, post-independence: gray with thin dark blue stripe). However this color is in reality came from the brochure issued by Werkspoor in 1920s; at that time printing machines were unable to produce correct brown color, so the illustration of this locomotive was colored with blue to allow the brochure to be printed.
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Indonesian Railways and IRPS (Indonesian Railway Preservation Society, the oldest rail fan organization in Indonesia) organized an event for celebrating the 77th Independence Day on August 17th, 2022, with the event featuring ESS3202 (that masquerades as ESS3201), IW-38221 and IW-38212 that runs from Jakarta Kota to Tanjung Priok and back:


(original photo taken by Ikko Haidar F., slightly edited and uploaded by myself with permission from Mr. Ikko himself)

Mr. Didiek Hartantyo who serves as the current CEO of Indonesian Railways directly attends this event:


(original photo from official Twitter account of IRPS. Mr. Didiek Hartantyo is the left one, while the right one is Mr. Ricky Dirjo (the current chief leader of IRPS))

As the event itself also functions as publicity event to promote the importance of rail transport in the history of Indonesia, some mass media covered this event (not many, but still better than none). Hopefully the railway system in Indonesia could be developed into better shape while satisfying everyone.


Thanks for your kind words! ;)

Although these coaches are having some different details if compared with the original condition (when it was still known as SAGL-9000 sleeper car), but these coaches are generally still the best for pre-independence steel-bodied coaches that exists until today. :)
[RAIL NEWS - August 25th, 2022]

Construction works for reactivating Muarakalaban - Sawahlunto section of Sawahlunto Main Line (West Sumatra Division) shows steady progress for this month. Along with replacing infrastructure like track and bridges, the repairment works of E1060 handled by steam locomotive specialists from Ambarawa Locomotive Depot (Semarang Division) also shows good progress. Even the signalling equipment that were already disused (yet still left there due to possibility for reactivation) is also repaired, and the interlocking equipment is temporarily removed for repairment (luckily Siemens & Halske mechanical signals in Indonesia are still exists in large number, resulting in the availability of spare parts and technicians capable for maintaining the signals).

This video was made to introduce the history of 7FDL series diesel engine to Indonesian rail buffs and its usage in Indonesia, while annoting 7FDL-8's role as one of the primary workhorse of Indonesian Railways. Interestingly later model of 7FDL-8 diesel engines built by GE for Indonesian Railways (starting from those installed on CC203 a.k.a Indonesian version of GE U20C) featured dual turbocharger that significantly increased its power output, with those installed on CC203 are rated at 2150hp as opposed to 1950hp (CC201 a.k.a U18C) or 1500hp (BB203 a.k.a U18A1A).

Because of such "crazy improvement" applied by GE on request from Indonesian Railways, 7FDL-8 diesel engines specially redesigned for Indonesia became the first GE-built 8-cylinder diesel engines in the world that could produce power output higher than 2000hp without altering the locomotive's basic design in overall. The development of Indonesian version of 7FDL-8 engine itself continues with the addition of common rail for those installed on CC204 (GE C20EMP), followed by another increment of power output up to 2250hp on CC206 (GE CM20EMP). For the latter, they were optimized for allowing the birth of what is known as "a single locomotive that could pull heavier passenger or freight without assistance from another locomotive", although those allocated at Kertapati depot had to be coupled in 2 or 3 units (with multiple unit jumper cable plugged) due to heavier loads, if compared with those in Java.


It's time to revive this thread (again) with some latest photograph(s) from Indonesia:

1. Recently introduced Plasser & Theurer EM-120 #7190 self-powered track & overhead line geometry car is seen here running through the mountainous line of Bandung division (photo by Septian Alfiansyah)


2. Builder photo of ABL-9035, one of several vacuum-braked 20m passenger coach ordered in 1950s by DKA or Djawatan Kereta Api (the photo was possibly taken by employee of Brisonneau et Lotz who built some of these coaches).


As implied by the number (who inherited the numbering system from Staatsspoorwegen), it is a combined 1st and 2nd class coach with vacuum brake equipment intended to be coupled with vacuum brake-equipped locos like D52, C53 (SS1000), CC200 etc (first generation diesels like CC200, BB300 etc were equipped with both air and vacuum brakes, allowing them to pull these coaches). However, it is not clear whether ABL-9035 was later scrapped or heavily rebuilt by PT INKA into one of ex-1950s coaches in 1980s to 1990s.

3. The driver of Greater Bandung Area local train is seen here gives a greet to rail fans that took the photograph of his train, as it was pulled by CC201 72 that repainted into revival version of its original PJKA color (photo by Ahmad Kosasih).



In reality there are lots of scenic locations along the lines of Bandung division of Indonesian Railways, like the following pictures:

1. At the northern end of Pasirjengkol station


(photo by Ahmad Kosasih)

2. The scenic view of Cikubang bridge, which was opened for rail traffic in 1906 (yes, 116 years ago!)


(photo by Septian Alfiansyah)

3. A view of the 3rd Cisomang bridge (foreground one is the abandoned 2nd bridge that was built in Dutch East Indies period for replacing the 1st bridge on the original route, and later replaced by 3rd bridge in 2004)


(photo by Septian Alfiansyah)

4. Running through northern part of Garut Regency


(photo by Ahmad Kosasih)

(please be aware that THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED FOR AGITATING ANY POLITICAL STATEMENTS, purely for conveying informations)

November 6th, 2022 became another historical day for construction of Jakarta - Bandung High Speed Rail Line, as the overhead line that spans from Tegalluar High Speed Rail Depot to Tegalluar Station has been powered with 25kV 50Hz AC supplied by the newly constructed Tegalluar Substation (located just beside Tegalluar High Speed Rail Depot). Although a portion of overhead line on the main line section has been completed (as far as 15km from Tegalluar Station to the west), there is no clear information whether it has been also turned on or not.
We have preserved the old Cipari watertower and waterpump house, which last used during steam era and afterwards unused and derelict for decades. This building is, of course, a remnant of Dutch colonial era in Indonesia, and it's a part of Indonesia's railway heritage.


Cipari station is a small station in Cilacap Regency, and is located in Bogor-Yogyakarta Line. It's under the jurisdiction of Purwokerto subdivision. No trains regularly stop here, except to let other oncoming train pass by because it's in single track section. AFAIK Blitar-bound 3rd class night service "Kahuripan" and Bandung-bound mixed-class morning service "Lodaya" stops here to let oncoming train pass by. The surrounding is a very quiet place, with very little residential area, even the road in front of the station has a very little traffic.

Here are some railfanning in Cipari:


Purwokerto-bound 3rd class night service "Serayu" passes this station roughly an hour late from schedule at 5:31 AM, mostly because of double track construction in Bandung subdivision


KAI's inspection train visits Cipari. We held an preservation thanksgiving event and invited some KAI officials to come, and luckily the officials are on movie roadshow so they could make a visit to Cipari.


The "King of South" Argo Wilis speeds up in Cipari station, going eastbound to Surabaya Gubeng. This train is one of trains allowed to run at 120 km/h on some sections. KAI has a plan to further improve the maximum speed to 160 km/h on their lines due to competition with buses and low-cost carrier airlines. It seems there are some fascinating projects to match the service quality of buses and airlines, and it seems one of those is bringing back the compartment sleeper car as they have teased in this video.
Speaking about history:


This is the picture that shows the interior of "A" signal box of Cibatu station, which is from the video taken by Mr. Ahmad Kosim (one of the signalman of Cibatu station). While this station is still using Siemens & Halske mechanical signal as of November 18th, 2022, but actually these signals were installed in 1982 to replace the aging Krian-type roundel signals (known in Indonesia as "sinyal tebeng tipe Krian"), which was unfortunately happens when Mt. Galunggung erupts and caused widespread casualties around there (primarily Garut and Tasikmalaya).

As shown in the picture, there are several handles for operating signals and turnouts:

1. AII (red label) : home signal (upper semaphore), intended for trains heading to Warungbandrek or Pasirjengkol and passes through track #2 (straight track a.k.a sepur lurus)
2. AI/III/IV (red label) : home signal (lower semaphore), which is generally the same with AII but for trains that enters track #1, #3 or #4 (diverge track a.k.a sepur belok)
3. Am (red label) : distant signal for trains heading to Warungbandrek or Pasirjengkol
4. C (red label) : starter signal for trains heading to Karangsari
5. 1 (white label) : for turnout #1
6. 2 (white label) : for turnout #2
7. 3 (white label) : for turnout #3
8. KW3 (green label) : possibly for locking turnout #3 (?)

In another video uploaded by the same person (but taken in 2018), there was another handle with green label and having "KW2" written on it, and was placed between "1" and "2". But it seems that it was removed sometimes between 2018 and 2022 for unknown reason (possibly technical reason).

And this is the video that shows how Mr. Ahmad Kosim operates the signal and turnouts from "A" signal tower :