A Steamy Java 2008 Double DVD is now available.
our 2009 Java tour plans are at:
For the first
part of the blog, go to Blog I
For the second part of the blog, go to Blog II
The idea post tour was to hang out in Situbondo for a while until the 4th when we could celebrate Rob's 60th birthday. We didn't do a lot during this time but did manage to ride/phot the one afternoon steam working at Olean all 3 days and investigate the isolated workings at Wringinanom and the reported pier railway at Panarukan.
Although the possible track alignment for a push system through the fishing village, into the port and onto the pier are apparent, there is no longer any sign of track. At the railway station, former terminus of the line from Jember, a 3ft 6in spur into the port is still visible but houses have been built over it.
View from the pier looking towards Mt Ringgit.
Fish drying in the railway station.
In February 2008, a combination heavy rainfall and mismanagement by the water authority released a flood of water down the Sampean River which flooded much of Situbondo and removed the rail bridge linking Wringinanom to its extensive cane fields on the south side of the river. As a result, the mill has come up with a method of working the isolated system with 3 small diesels and then transhipping the cane to road truck for the final ride to the mill.
This used to be the classic shot of a train on the over-girder bridge. When I get home, I should be able to add steam and diesel versions of the classic shot.
In this shot we can see the angle that the bridge pier has assumed. Erosion of the soft layer under the surface rock has resulted in it dropping and tilting relative to the bridge abutment. The other pier is on its side in the river. Any repair with be major and costly (and, therefore, unlikely).
View from the south showing the gap.
Riding the empties on the isolated system. These are unwanted lori being returned to the truck yard. The loco behind is bringing in some produce for the local farmers.
Water buffalo awaiting their next call to duty.
No trains pass on either line these days on the flat crossing of the Jember - Panarukan line and the line which no longer links Wringinanom to its field lines to the south.
New mosque in the fields on the south side of Wringinanom.
Rob at 60
There are several shots of Rob at 60 from his birthday on 4 August but this is probably the one everyone will remember.
Rob on the tender of Loco No. 4 as it heads for the mill at Olean on his birthday.
On my way back to Jakarta, I stopped in Solo at the friendly Solo Inn. The morning train for Wonogiri departed after 8:30 after the loco had done some shunting of box vans at Purwosari. I photographed it at the start of the street running section.
The train crossing the road at the start of the street running section.
Going away shot as the traffic resumes on Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo.
In the afternoon it got late (after 4:30) as I waited for the train and then a small B301 class shunter headed down the line. It returned about 15 minutes later with the line loco and coach in tow so the train must have failed somewhere close to Solo Kota station on the return.
Shunter to the rescue.
Rescued train heads for Purwosari station.
Branch train meets major express at Purwosari. In fact the branch train is waiting for a path back to the depot at Solo Balapan.
I expect this to be the end of the tour and post-tour blogs. I am on the train to Jakarta as I write this at the start of my journey home via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. Rob will be running more tours to Java and plans a 'railway and general interest' tour in 2009 suitable for enthusiasts and their wives and a 'sugar mills, steam and railway' tour in 2010 which will be more of a repeat of this trip. Details, when available, will be at http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/
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