First-time riding on Penataran Ikon, a new icon of all-economy class train
Yosef Yudha Wijaya ·
I should've written and posted this entry three weeks ago, but better late than never. On January 20, 2008, I got the opportunity to ride on the 08.10 economic-class Penataran from Surabaya Gubeng to Malang. This train was intended to be the icon of economic-class train in PT Kereta Api (Persero) Daerah Operasi VIII. It meant this train was different among other economic-class trains: more clean and no food vendors or beggars are allowed to enter the train, which meant more comfort for the passengers and reduced crimes onboard train. The train made its inaugural run on July 20, 2007, serving the Surabaya-Malang-Blitar line. It used to be scheduled to depart from Surabaya Gubeng Station at 07.00, but somehow it was rescheduled to depart at 08.10.
It cost me only Rp 4.500, it was way cheaper than riding by bus. The train arrived a minute late at Surabaya Gubeng, and, yay, CC20101R (GE U18C) led the way. I stepped aboard one of the seven(?) passenger cars, and I sat on an empty seat. Suddenly I saw something unusual in front of me. On the table were remains of shattered glass. Instinctively I stood up and saw that on the seat I was sitting on were also those remains of shattered glass.
It seemed that the glass which covered the window had been hit by something solid from outside. Someone probably had thrown a stone at the passenger car and it hit the window. Many would complain this situation by blaming the railway company. Only a few who would think that this barbaric, uneducated, irresponsible action must be prevented at all cost, at least by educating people who lived near the railway track and made a living by selling something to railway passengers to prevent this from happening again. The shattered glass had been replaced with a new one, my salute for that, but please clean the remains also.
As promised, there were no food vendors or beggars on the train. The food vendors tended to offer what they sell from outside the passenger cars. It seemed that they also had to compete with PT Kereta Api's employees who also sold nasi rames, instant noodle, tea and coffee. As for the beggars, I saw none of them.
While the train was en route to Malang, I took some notes. Unbeknown to me, a man who was sitting next to me paid attention to what I was doing. He said, "I used to do that. But I also made notes on the elevation of each station, not just the name of the station. You will find something interesting by doing that." I thought that was a good idea, so I did it. He was right, I found something interesting. From Surabaya to Bangil, Pasuruan, the train ran on a track on a relatively level surface. But from Bangil to Singosari (39 kilometres), the train had to climb for about 478 metres! The train ran slowly, as if it encouraged the passengers to feast their eyes on the view of the beautiful scenery of mountains and paddy fields especially on Sukorejo-Lawang line — actually the passengers were also given the scenery of mud flow disaster in Porong.
Finally the train arrived in Malang Station at 10.57. I planned to return to Surabaya by the 12.55 business-class Malang Ekspres. I still had about 1 hour and 58 minutes, therefore I bought the ticket (Rp 15.000) and walked to the north side of the station, searching for something to eat. At the same time, the train continued its journey to Blitar.
CC20101R in Malang Station
The journey in summary:
|Tanggulangin||6||08.57||09.09||X Penataran, CC20119|
|Porong||6||09.17||09.21||X Cantik Ekspres, BB30135|
|Wonokerto||90||09.46||09.47||stopped for about 30 seconds|
|Sukorejo||239||10.00||10.00||stopped for less than a minute|
|Sengon||312||10.08||10.08||stopped for less than a minute|
|Lawang||481||10.24||10.29||X Penataran, BB30113|
|Singosari||487||10.41||10.42||X oil freight, CC20108|
Total: 2 hours 46 minutes
When I returned to Malang Station, Malang Ekspres from Surabaya was about to arrive. The train arrived on platform 1. The locomotive was numbered CC20336. Soon after arrival, the locomotive was uncoupled from the passengers cars, shunted to platform 2, moved north beyond the signal, returned to platform 1 and recoupled to the Malang Ekspres' passenger cars.
While watching the shunting process, I saw a person writing numbers on each passenger car using a piece of chalkboard. He did this to help the passengers locate their respective passenger cars. Not only he wrote the numbers on Malang Ekspres' passenger cars but also on Matarmaja's ones. Effective, I thought; better than repeatedly shouting the each car's number.
Then at 12.55 Malang Ekspres departed to Surabaya. Since the passenger car at the end of the trainset was not as crowded as in Penataran — in fact only some seats were occupied, I decided to stand in its vestibule. As the train approached Blimbing Station, it slowed down and was directed to a loop line. It waited for the economic-class Tawangalun from Banyuwangi.
The economic-class Tawangalun
After Tawangalun passed the main line, the train dispatcher dispatched Malang Ekspres. Then before entering Singosari Station, the train was brought to a halt before the home signal.
Then the train continued its journey, stopped at Lawang, then descending to Bangil Station, where I always met this Krupp-made small shunter, D30162.
Below are some photos of the condition of the railway track in Porong:
Finally the train arrived at Surabaya, but it was brought to a stop again before entering Surabaya Gubeng Station for the next block was occupied by Sancaka going to the opposite direction.
The journey in summary:
|Singosari||487||n/a||n/a||stopped at home signal|
Total: 2 hours 12 minutes
KA Penataran "Ikon 2007" Daop VIII Surabaya - Blitar Diluncurkan
KA Ekonomi Rasa Eksklusif , KA Penataran Ikon 2007 Diluncurkan