Ambarawa Railway Museum

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Central Java Salatiga Ambarawa Railway Museum

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Introduction

Ambarawa-Bedono train

Ambarawa-Bedono train

© theo1006

On 21 May 1873 a railway line was inaugurated between Ambarawa and Kedungjati. It was operated by the Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij to transport teak wood and other commodities as well as military personnel. The Ambarawa Station building as we see it today dates from 1907. When the line was taken out of service in 1976 it was decided to turn it into a museum. It is now the largest railway museum in South-East Asia. Its collection includes 26 steam locomotives, the oldest one a Hartmann Chemnitz of 1891.

Better still, two wood-powered locs from 1902 have been restored to operating condition and are used for recreational rides. They were made in Maschinen Fabrik Esslingen and feature a rack and pinion mechanism to negotiate steep slopes, the only of their kind in the world still being used.

Incidentally, the line from Tuntang to Kedungjati, which had virtually disappeared (rails, bridges and all!), has recently been reconstructed. Java’s roads are overcrowded with heavy trucks, so the aim is to shift some freight transport to rail.

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Opening Hours

Museum: daily 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Audiovisual room: Mon-Fri 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Sat-Sun: 9:00am to 10:00am and 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

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Cost

Museum: Adults IDR 10,000, children (3-12) IDR 5,000.

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Sights and Activities

Museum

Ticket office, station masters office, waiting room are arranged like they were a hundred years ago. In the yard 21 retired steam locs are on display, visitors may climb onto the cabins.

Ambarawa – Tuntang ride

Ambarawa-Tuntang carriages

Ambarawa-Tuntang carriages

© theo1006

During weekends a recreational train consisting of a vintage diesel loc and three wooden carriages rides between Ambarawa and Tuntang station, a distance of 6 kilometres along the border of Rawa Pening lake. Price IDR 50,000 for a return ticket. For the schedule see the official website (below).

Ambarawa – Bedono ride

A train for the route Ambarawa - Bedono (9 kilometres) can be chartered by groups of up to 120 passengers. This is the route with steep ascent (6%) where the wood-powered locs with rack and pinion mechanism are used. For prices and reservation see the official website.

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Getting There

By Bus

Ambarawa is on the main road from Semarang to Magelang, a bus between these two cities can drop you of at ‘Jalan Stasiun’. The ESTO bus company (dating from colonial times) serves the route between Salatiga and Ambarawa.

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Eat and Drink

There are several warung-style restaurants on Jalan Pemuda near the museum. A more attractive place is the floating restaurant Kampung Rawa. It is located off the southern ring road at about three kilometres from the museum. Its specialty is fish from the Rawa Pening lake.

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Sleep

There is only budget accommodation in Ambarawa. Hotel Griya Wijaya is closest to the Railway Museum, 1.2 kilometres. Crown Guesthouse is at double that distance. For medium and up-scale accommodation consider Salatiga, Ungaran and Semarang.

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This is version 12. Last edited at 15:06 on Jan 5, 19 by theo1006. 2 articles link to this page.

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