Part 2 : Probolinggo and Pasuruan

Moving further West and onto the next stop. The first stop was Probolinggo, and then Pasuruan. In Probolinggo, I had no problem with the accommodation, since my uncle owns a house right beside the province highway. And as for the Pasuruan, since it was only a 2 hours on a motorbike from where I live, which is Surabaya, I can afford to do a daily journey. So I set out to Pasuruan at 4.30 in the early morning and came back at around about 5 in the evening, just prior to sunset.

In Probolinggo, I went to take a peek at Pajarakan Sugar Mill and Gending Sugar Mill. There was not much to see at Pajarakan Sugar Mill since it is a very small sugar mill and they do not operate their field lines anymore, even though much of the field lines still remain. All there was just 4 diesel locos shunting the empties to the truck yard to be filled with canes and shunt the lorries back to the inside siding of the sugar mill. There was not much diesels in action either. But there was still the main attraction, which was the custom made Schoema diesel loco in Pajarakan Sugar Mill. There was also one steam loco remaining in the shed, which was the No. 2 "Kelut" O&K 0-4-2T steam loco, but sadly parts of it was buried in ash. As for the other steam locos, they were already moved to Asembagus and Olean Sugar Mills (according to Rob Dickinson's locomotives list).

The no.4 "Do It Yourself" home made loco, is probably under maintenance (or is out of use and used for cannibaling the spare parts?), as it is lay cold and seems to be neglected in the shed. Also notice the dumped no.2 O&K 0-4-2T loco in the background, dug out from being buried under the ash when I first came in 2012. Photo dated 2016.
Hardly any movements when I visited in 2016, as the no.2 Schoema 0-4-0 4wDM lays idle in the front gate. 

The only thing that seemed to move during my visit in 2016 was only the no.2 Hokuriku 0-6-0 DH that worked the road deliveries. Note that by this time, the no.3 Hokuriku had already been borrowed by Jatiroto Sugar Mill.

The dumped steam loco of Pajarakan Sugar Mill, the No. 2 "Kelut" O&K 0-4-2T steam loco, which parts of it was buried under the ash back in 2012. The gentleman that you can see in the photo is a fellow Indonesian narrow gauge enthusiast who travelled with me to Probolinggo, Ahmad Arif, who as seen in the photo is busy twiddling with his pocket camera.

From Pajarakan Sugar Mill to Gending Sugar Mill. This was the main highlight in Probolinggo. During my first visit in 2012 up until 2015, they still run their field lines. And in 2012, they still maintained one level crossing which is normally covered by tarmac when the harvest season is over. But once the harvest season has arrived, the tarmac is dug back so that the cane trains can maneuver past the level crossing. However, the memories of such level crossing is over and was covered permanently by tarmac as soon as the 2012 milling season was over, and this meant that there were not anymore narrow gauge lines in Probolinggo area that crossed the main intercity road. As usual, they only run diesel locos, and the remaining steams are left inside the shed.
Gending features a short streetside railway used for the trains to take the canes coming in from the truck transfer yard to the inside yard, ready to be queued and being lifted onto the cane table. The regular loco was the huge no.7 Keio Yashima 0-4-0 DH, as seen here in 2013. By 2016, all the field workings are put out of use, and the truck transfer crane is moved to the inside yard. So photos like above are now long gone.
On to the field workings now. The usual oxes and cattles are used to maneuver the cane wagons in the cane fields. This is on the section of the South line, which was out of use when I came back in 2014. 
By 2013, although the South line was reportedly still in use, I never saw a train that went there. The mill staff said that trains going South are getting even rare. The most common occasion was only trains that are going towards the North line. The line that crosses the main road from Probolinggo to Situbondo is now out of use since the local government thought that trains that cross the road only became an obstruction to the passing vehicles, not to mention that cane fields in the North only got smaller due to an increasing number of houses being built on the side of the main roads. So trains only turned East on the junction just before it crosses the main road. Lucky I still got the chance to rode on a fully loaded cane train. Photo dated 2013.

The cane train that went from North East took a brief stop to pick up another set of cane trains already being prepared to be attached to the previously made cane train. Here, the train that I rode from the previous photo is being prepared to set back to the mill, as another set of cane train had already been attached. The regular loco was a no.1 Diema 0-4-0 4wDM. Photo dated 2013.

In Pasuruan, there were 4 sugar mills but they all went bankrupt apart from one, which is Kedawung Sugar Mill. Kedawung Sugar Mill then took over all the cane fields and became the largest sugar mill in Pasuruan. It has acres of cane fields and they still run kilometers of their field lines. They have interesting set of field lines where each one has their own unique scenes. During my time when I went there, the North line was still in use, which had a mixture of going through a local 'kampung' settlement, then eventually it crossed the main road between Pasuruan and Probolinggo, had a level crossing with the State Railway line, and out onto the cane fields that were mixed with green rice paddy fields. The South West line is also an interesting one, since the main line goes out into a roadside tramline. The trackbed was formerly used by Passoeroean Stoomtram Maatschappij (Passoeroean Steamtram Company), when all their lines were abandoned and ripped up in the late 1970's. Since then, considering the land is not in use anymore, Kedawung built parts of their narrow gauge network on the same part of the land, and is still in use until 2016. But only God knows how long it will be used for, as there are less and less certainties for Java Sugar Mill's narrow gauge rail network.

A cloudy start to the day (and soon it got drizzly), as no.7 Schoema 0-4-0 4wDM sets out with the empties towards the South cane fields, followed by the large no.1 0-6-0 DH Keio Yashima just in behind. Notice the old chimney and the new chimney of Kedawung Sugar Mill in the background. Photo dated 2013.

On the North section of the line, a no.7 Schoema 0-4-0 4wDM just made it past the level crossing with the State Railway Line. This section of the line was last used in 2014. In 2015, the State Railway decided to increase the rent price towards Kedawung Sugar Mill in order for them to able to use a short section of the State Railway's land where their narrow gauge railway crossed with the State Railway Line. And yes, even though it's only a short section where it crosses the State Railway, the mill still has to pay rents towards the State Railway, in which the rent prices got more outrageous as the years go by. This proved too much for Kedawung Sugar Mill, and as a result, since 2015, the canes from the North fields were brought in by trucks. Photo dated 2012.

On the evening on my way back home to Surabaya, I cought up with a group of workers still hard at work chopping down the harvested canes. Here as usual, cattles are used to haul the lorry wagons loaded with canes from the portable tracks to the nearest branch line. The funny thing is the branch line was also constructed from a set of portable tracks, which were connected to the mainline. Photo dated 2012.

Another lovely feature of Kedawung Sugar Mill is the roadside section on the South West part of the line. This section was where the Passoeroean Steamtram line was laid, until it was being ripped up by the State Railway in the late 70's when road vehicles overtook their passengers. Since they had no revenue, they closed down their line, and in turn, their trackbed was being used by Kedawung Sugar Mill to lay their tracks to transport canes from the South West cane fields. You have to be careful when travelling here though, as so many locals been telling me that there are a lot of street robbers around here. Photo dated 2014.

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