In Search of Last Steam Sugarcane Train in East Java (Part 4)

We speed up to Patek direction, where we aimed to catch up the steam loco. We waited at one corner of the plantation, near a former junction. What you won’t be able to see in the image below is the fact that the track that branched to the bridge actually ended just after it crossed the asphalt!

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This corner of the plantation is eerily quiet, even in broad daylight! We even thought that if someone is raped, no one would notice as the nearest village is 1 kilometer away, behind the tall sugarcane.

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We waited in one hut, where we could see the approaching steam locomotive in the distance. But what puzzled us is why does it seem to be stationary?

Rather than waiting, we decided to see the Patek siding, to see what happens there. Upon arriving at the siding, we were quite surprised to find that the diesel locomotive is there.

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Apparently they’re waiting for the hoppers to be brought into the field. You could see how powerful the buffaloes are. They could easily haul a train of empty hoppers into the field, as the locomotive is too heavy to run on the temporary track.

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The locomotive driver waited until all of the hoppers are brought into the field.

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While waiting for the track to clear, one of the co-driver asked me whether if I have whiskey. I was stunned by his question, considering liquor is a rarity and perceived negatively in this part of the world.

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The water buffaloes employed for hauling might have a beasty appearance. But they’re actually a shy animal. So shy that when I tried to touch them, they ran away!

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Once the track is cleared, this minion locomotive creep its way back to the mill.

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I can’t imagine how bumpy it is to rode the locomotive, as the tracks are uneven.

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Sometime, the locomotive would look like an off road vehicle.

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Yet, we are still chasing after the loco to get the best photoshot.

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TO BE CONTINUED.

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About bagus70

I'm an adventurous railfans who love to seek out the world of railway, beyond the border of my office.
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