Als we het toch over reizen per trein door Indonesia hebben.
Een artikel van: Anto Dwiastoro, zoals geplaatst in: Mata, the official newsletter of PT Grand Interwisata (member of PT Dharmala Intiland).
Stationspoor (Dutch for “railway station”) Goebeng, Soerabaia, early June 1897. Squeaking iron wheels accompanied by the sound of a locomotive tore apart the silent night in the town. The black steam locomotive came chugging into the station. Its smokestack billowed steam that would make you hardly breathe. Sturdy wooden coaches lined up behind the locomotive, and from them passengers stepped out one at a time… Such was the daily atmosphere at Gubeng Railway Station in olden days.
In the olden days or Tempo Doeloe, one also had to take the train when one wanted to go to Batavia (today’s Jakarta). The departure was from Goebeng (now spelled “Gubeng”) railway station and arrived at Gambir railway station in Batavia. The trip usually lasted nine to ten hours. How could this be so? That is what makes trains of Tempo Doeloe similar to present day trains.
From then to present day, there is only a single railway track. The Soerabaia-Malang railway track was opened in 1894. The Soerabaia-Batavia track was dedicated at the same year, exactly on November 1, 1894. Several years earlier, in 1878, the Soerabaia-Pasoeroean track was officially opened. While the Dutch governor-general, J.W. Lasberge, inaugurated the Semoet Railway Station in Soerabaia.
Surabaya could have been a railway center with its four railway stations, i.e. Wonokromo, Gubeng, Passartoeri, and Semut. There are however no train museums in the city today. The only museum that exhibits old trains is in Ambarawa, Central Java. While a small antique locomotive is made a monument in the middle of Passartoeri Station’s parking lot. This is the only artifact to put in the picture that Surabaya was once a “railway town” in the distant past!
SS, or Staatsspoorwegen (State Railway Company), was the one responsible for railway affairs in old time Surabaya. There were three railway tracks from downtown Surabaya to outside areas, specifically Malang, Kertosono, and Semarang in Central Java. From Wonokromo station, the SS railway track headed straight to the north until it stood side by side with Jalan Nias, near the Goebeng station. After it passed by Goebeng Koeboeran, the track would arrive at Goebeng station. Arriving at Ngaglik, the track branched off. The one turning right headed for the SS Railway Yard at Sidotopo, while the one turning left went towards Semoet and Passartoeri.
The bustling Oedjoeng Harbor (present day Tanjung Perak, also known as Dermaga Ujung, Ujung Pier) had also its own tracks. There were nine of them. That was because not only passengers but also exported as well as imported goods were transported. From Bataviaweg (present day Jalan Jakarta) it headed for Prapat Koeroeng and from there the railway track diverged into three tracks, each heading for Marseilleweg, Genuaweg, and Holland Pier. There were more than five tracks from Bataviaweg to Tandjoeng Perak Boulevard Oost and to Oedjoeng Harbor.
How was it with the tram tracks? The Oost Java Stoomtram (East Java Steam Tram) established the Soerabaia-Sepandjang tram track in 1886. The longest steam tram track was from Weg Goenoengsari, veering to Dierentuin (Surabaya Zoo), riding along the Reiniersz Boulevard (today’s Jalan Diponegoro), Passerkembangstraat, Ardjoeno Boulevard, NIS Laan (present day Jalan Semarang), and arriving at Passartoeri. The NIS, or Netherlands Indies Steam Tram, was one of the private companies that operated the trams. Unfortunately, we cannot find remains of the trams or its tracks anymore today. Its rails are already removed. The trams itself have become heaps of scrap iron. So, do not ever dream of a Tram Museum in Surabaya either.©