Semarang Gudang (formerly Samarang NIS, Semarang's - and Indonesia's - first railway station) is officialy still a station but practically abandoned because of the constant storm and tidewater flooding. The picture above shows the platform under water even though the sky was cloudless.
Samarang NIS terminus in 1867. On the left wing is the passanger platform, on the right wing is the goods station. When the new NIS station in Tawang was finished in 1914 part of this building was knocked down to make way for the tracks to the new station, leaving only the goods wing.
(Photo: Basil Roberts)
Semarang Gudang shed in 1971 with C1406, originally SDS 6, in the foreground. This engine was built by Beyer Peacock, Manchester (UK) for the Serajoedal Stoomtram Maatschappij (SDS) in 1896. C1406 has not survived but classmates C1412 is at Ambarawa, while C1414 is on a plinth at Tegal works.
The Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS / Netherlands Indian Railway Company) headquarters was the first modern office building built in Semarang. Located at a prominent site, it is one of Semarang's main landmarks. The people call it "Lawang Sewu" (Thousand Doors), referring to its many doors. It was built in 1902 to the design of the architects JF Klinkhamer and BJ Ouendag. During the Japanese occupation its basement was used as a prison, and during the war of independence it was site of violent struggle between Indonesian youths and Japanese forces who had surrendered to the Allies. Unfortunately this beautiful and historically important building is now abandoned and its future uncertain.
The friendly gentleman on the right will guide you on an underground tour through the building's dark and damp basement. Because people think the NIS building is haunted, this is also a kind of a "ghost walk."
In the "back seat" a rather tense instructor watches his students drive the engine.
But, actually there was nothing to worry about. The trip itself was smooth and uneventful (as a good rail trip should be: no sudden drop of steam pressure, no stopping to take water halfway up the hills, no snapped brakes, no leaking cylinders, and no derailment; all of which have happened before), so it seems that Heru and Slamet are good students. Or was it just good luck?
Ambarawa station, safe arrival of the train from Bedono. Because of the large number of participants, they were divided into two groups. The first went on the uphill trip by train and returned to Ambarawa from Bedono by bus. The second group went up by bus and came down on the steam train. Not all were happy with this arrangement, but no one really complained (perhaps because the price of the tour was very, very cheap even by Indonesian standards). In any case, everyone had a good time.
Seno Prakoso, Coordinator of the Semarang Heritage Walk 2008