Traveling by an old-wooden-wagon train is a rare experience in this modern era when we are used to traveling by modern car, train or airplane. This gives a remarkable memory of the beginning of 19th century.
To enjoy this trip is not difficult also to arrange but then you should be in a group because the wagons can consist of around 90 passengers. By paying more or less 250 E, you will make a trip in the colonial-era train for an hour. Anyhow, for those who come individually, you can also make a lorry trip from Ambarawa through beautiful landscape till a village near by Rawa Pening. which takes more or less an hour go and back just by paying around 1 E per person with minimal collective passenger 10 persons.
It was the idea Van der Wijk in 1840, that making the railway would give advantages for the colonial military because it could connect some strategic places to control Java. In 1864 the process of building railway was begun. With its development the train was used for colonial military, economy, and public transportation for the have.
After the independence period of Indonesia, those railways were also still used. But because of some reasons, few destinations of the train were stopped. And just in 1975, this was open for tourism.
The tour starts from Ambarawa station. This station is nowadays also used for train museum with huge collections of 21 locomotives from varied from the year of 1891 till 1928 that you can easily see from the first sight you come to that museum since they are on the open air. Those trains give idea of developing technology from one period to another.
The passengers have a chance to enjoy the wooden-wagon train with old locomotive, made in Germany and first operated in 1907.
This steamed-locomotive will be ready to carry the passengers after three hours preparation for its steam heat by teak-wood fire. The sound of its whistle signing that the train is moving and slowly running. Of course the smoke of the steam come over the wagon and the passengers but it is just fun.
Along the way, natural sight and villager activities can be seen. Children and people are waving to us to say “Have a nice trip”. The beautiful rice landscape, mountain, the green plantation support the atmosphere that we were in the beginning of 19th century.
Why this trip becomes special? Because with the old locomotive we can travel from Ambarawa (474 m above sea level) to Bedono which has 711 m above sea level. Amazing.