Ambarawa Railway Museum

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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 History of Ambarawa Railway Museum

The idea of ​​building a railway line on the island of Java on the proposal of Colonel J Van Der Wijk on 15 August 1840, according to him, the procurement of railway lines in Java will bring much benefit especially from the military aspect, based in Ambarawa and Magelang. Some have also asked that the construction of the railroad also passes through the area in Wonosobo and surrounding estates up to the port of Semarang for the Cultivation System (1830-1850) who introduced the Van den Bosch obliging residents of the island of Java to produce agricultural and plantation products such as coffee, sugar , indigo, tobacco and tea for export.

The railway Semarang-Tanggung-Kedung Jati-Yogyakarta-Solo was completed with difficulty by the NIS (Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorwegmaatschappij) and operations on June 10, 1872, including Tuntang-Kedungjati-Ambarawa was completed in 1873. The building Station Willem I (or better known as Ambarawa station) is made of wood with a total area of ​​127 500 square meters and officially put into operation on May 21, 1873. Railway from Jambu towards Gemawang must pass through a steep hill (topographic slope of 65 degrees), therefore it was to save costs, and the toothed rail built steam locomotive toothed buy the series B25. NIS continue the construction of the railway line from Ambarawa to Secang (including toothed rail route Jambu-Bedono-Gemawang along nearly 6.5 kilometers) and officially operating since February 1, 1905. At this point, the purpose of rail transport for military activities are preferred because the rate locomotive B25 steam only able to propagate in a limited speed of 15 kilometers per hour. Ambarawa station (Willem I) that there is now a second building was built in 1907, replacing the old building made of wood.

Since 1953, DKA (Departemen Kereta Api) began to replace the role of steam locomotives with diesel locomotives; thus entering 1970, steam locomotive has become an antique as no longer being produced by the manufacturer in Europe or in America. Hence came the idea to gather a number of steam locomotives to the museum. On April 8, 1976, Ir Soeharso (Head of Central Exploitation PJKA / Company Railway Bureau) met Soepardjo Roestam (Central Java Governor) to discuss the development plan as well as the railway museum initiative to collect and store the steam locomotive in Ambarawa Station. Head of Central Exploitation PJKA formed a committee tasked with collecting museum material and then apply the concept of a work plan to the Governor of Central Java on May 18, 1976. On October 6, 1976, the Commission D Regional Representatives Council (DPRD) of Central Java province will review the location of the Ambarawa railway museum  station and approve the development plan of the museum. At the end of 1976, accumulated a number of 22 steam locomotives to the museum’s collection. Ambarawa station museum official function since April 21, 1978 and inaugurated by Rusmin Noerjadin (Minister of Transport of the Republic of Indonesia) to enjoy the tourist train tour package jagged entourage.



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The museum atmosphere is still showing the atmosphere past the train station, which is still maintained and manicured. Being inside the train station it was like returning to the atmosphere of the past, visitors can see the station master’s office, waiting room, counter platform, communication equipment, hats machinist, tool hole punch tickets, stamps, typewriters, old-fashioned clock, furniture desk chair past and etc.

Ambarawa Railway Museum Today

PT Kereta Api (Persero) provide two (2) train in Ambarawa travel. First, tourist train route Ambarawa – Bedono (9 km) drawn steam locomotive toothed  B25  02 or  B25  03 attractive two (2) wood-paneled passenger trains. The walls of the passenger train no glass in the windows so that passengers can enjoy the cool breeze and beautiful scenery  for 2 (two) hours of travel. Railway  Jambu – Bedono is located at an altitude of 693 meters above sea level. Panorama travels along the more remarkable. Overlays Ungaran Mountain and Mount Merbabu be dazzling backdrop. Because of its location high enough along the route Jambu here – there are Bedono rack railway. Its function is to hold the train no difficulty climbed the pathway.


How do I get there?

Travel agents in Semarang, Solo or Yogyakarta will be able to organise private transport (car or minibus) to get you there (travel times will be about 1 hour, 2 hours or 2½ hours respectively). Long distance buses between Yogyakarta and Semarang go through the town – if you get off opposite the military museum south of the town centre, it is 5/10 minutes walk down the hill to the museum. Coming by bus from Solo, you need to get down at the small bus station at Bawen at the major road junction north of Ambarawa and transfer to a Yogyakarta bus or one of the small local buses.


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1 Response

  1. says:

    Here in Ambarawa you can find Indonesia s Railway Museum, home to 21 old steam locomotives, the oldest of which is the 1891 Hartmann Chemnitz, in use until the 1970 s when the railways here were closed.

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