Ambarawa Railway Museum

Posted on January 5, 2018
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Ambarawa is famous nationwide by the credo Palagan Ambarawa. Small city that forgotten nowadays but became one of the important base camp of National heroes during Dutch occupancy in World War II. A small city in the junction of national road between Yogyakarta to Semarang and accessible to several small cities nearby like Salatiga, Magelang and Bandungan. Fifty km south of Semarang, Ambarawa has locomotives of various types and ages, and it is still possible to ride on a cog railway between Ambarawa and Bedono, a village nearby. Ambarawa Railway Museum 50 km south of Semarang, Ambarawa is the home of Java’s antique locomotives, housed in a museum. Prior arrangements should be made for groups. Also of interest are a collection of antique telephones and other instrument used for railway communication.

The museum was established in the 1970s primarily to preserve a wide selection of the steam locomotives, which were then coming to the end of their useful lives on the 3ft 6in (1067mm) gauge railways of the Indonesian State Railway (the Perusahaan Negara Kereta Api, PNKA). These are parked in the open air next to the original station, originally a transhipment point between the 4ft 8 in gauge branch from Kedungjati to the northeast and the 3ft 6in gauge line onward towards Yogyakarta via Magelang to the south. It is still possible to see that the two sides of the station were built to accommodate different size trains. Ambarawa lays some way above sea level and was an administrative centre for the Dutch colonialists. Now the provincial Government of Central Java is increasingly taking an interest from the point of view of its heritage significance and its potential as a tourist attraction. Non-Governmental bodies like the Semarang Heritage Society are also acting to assist and there is also an unofficial overseas group ‘The Friends of Ambarawa Railway Museum’.

Old Steam Loco Ride

Photo Sally Arnold

A tourist train ride to Tuntang station operates three trips on Sundays and national holidays and runs along approximately six kilometres of track alongside the picturesque Danau Rawa Pening. Trips generally operate at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00, but times occasionally change. Tickets cost 50,000 rupiah and are only available on a first come, first served basis on the day from the ticket booth which opens at 08:00. A maximum of four tickets are sold per person. It’s a popular trip, so if you’re keen, arrive early. The Tourist Information Centre in Semarang “secured” us a place for an additional 25,000 rupiah, but we could have easily just turned up.

The trip is a delight and lasts about one hour. The wooden third-class carriages were first operational in 1909 on the cog railway line, but are today pulled by diesel engine D30124. Narrow, hard wooden double benches face each other on either side of the carriage, comfortable enough for the short journey. Choose a seat on the righthand side for the best views out the open windows or convince other passengers to swap places for the return journey, as the carriages don’t turn around at Tuntang, instead the engine moves to the opposite end of the train.

The cost to hire the steam train starts at 10,000,000 rupiah for one carriage with a capacity of 40 passages. Add 2,500,000 rupiah each for additional carriage (up to three). The diesel locomotive can also be hired for private trips at a lower cost. Combine with a trip to nearby Candi Gedong Songo, one of Central Java’s oldest antiquities. ( source: travelfish.org )

Entrance fee:
Children: IDR 5.000
Adult: IDR 10.000

OLD STEAM LOCO
Regular trip :
Visitors can choose the hours 10.00 o’clock in the morning, noon at 12.00, or afternoon starting at 14.00 pm. Long trips Ambarawa-Tuntang for one hour ticket only IDR 50.000/ person

Private trip :
To enjoy the ride, you need to make a reservation one week in advance. Reservation is addressed to the Office of PT KAI DAOP IV Semarang at Jalan MH Thamrin No. 3, S, Semarang, with bringing down 10-20 percent.

Crown Guest House, Perumahan Griya Permata I, RT 11-RW 12, Jalan Kartini No. 7, Bawen, Kab. Semarang, Ambarawa – Telp. 0811-275-845 Tariff: IDR 100.000 – 250.000

Hotel Griya Wijaya, Jalan Tentara Pelajar No 90, Ambarawa – Telp. (0298) 591974 Tariff: IDR 225.000 – 275.000

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