The township at Pagottan boasts a fine selection of horse-drawn taxis like this one.
|Pagottan also usesthese buggy-like tractors in the yard|
We went back to Madiun to get our bags and then took a bus to Kediri, changing at Kertosono. We checked into the very nice Hotel Merdena which has a large pond in the courtyard, inhabited by many fish, some large.
We headed straight off to Merican. The Czechs we had met earlier in the week had told us that the steam was finished there. Their reports of a lack of steam elsewhere had not proved to be totally accurate, so we decided to check Merican just in case. The news was bad. Tractors now move the cane at Merican.
We then headed over to Pesantran at the other side of town. Through the efforts of TC, a permit was waiting for us and we had a “royal tour” of the mill before being allowed to see anything on rail. One Japanese diesel was sitting in the yard and a preserved loco was nearby.
Our further questioning took us to the old mill where the loco shed had many disused team locomotives inside it, mostly Mallets.
|Artistry on the wall of the old shed|
We then managed to get back to the new mill where at the other end of the rail yard we found two other diesels, one a delightful little Schoema. It was here that we noticed that the condition of the track in the yard is superb, a real credit to this mill, which prides itself on the quality of its processes. Finally we went to the loco shed at the new mill where the other two diesels, both under repair, were found.
|Beautiful trackwork at Pesantren|
To finish up our visit, we went to the nearby kindergarten, where one of the mill’s locos is preserved.
|Our friendly guides were able to communicate with us in English|