3 November 2008

An evening at Alastuwa station (22.00 - 01.00)

My friend Yosanto Bakhtiar, the Treasurer of the Indonesian Railway Preservation Society (IRPS) Semarang asked me to go with him to Alastuwa, a small station at the east edge of Semarang, on Friday 30 October in the evening. He had promised the station master, who was on night duty that evening, to give him some pictures of steam engines for the station.

Allas Toewa (Alastuwa) 1867

Alastuwa 1990

Alastuwa is one of the oldest stations in Indonesia. It is on Indonesia's first railway line built between Semarang and Tanggung. The present station building, however, is not the original one built in 1867.

Soon after we arrived at about 22.00 it started to rain very hard. We came by motorbike so we had to wait for the rain to stop till about 01.00 in the morning. But actually we had a good time because the station was very busy at that time. According to the station master between 09.00 and 06.00 the next morning sixteen passenger trains plus a number of freight trains pass through the station. Most of them don’t stop, except when they have to pass each other on this single track line. Still, each time the station master would have to put on his red cap and watch the train pass by.

Trains thundering past Alastuwa in the middle of the night

Above the station master is a picture of steam engines, a present from IRPS Semarang

The station master taking a break from his busy routine. He made us each a big glass of hot "kopi tubruk" served with some roasted peanuts; just what we needed in the damp rainy night.

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