Sawahlunto Railway Museum was inaugurated on December 17, 2005 by Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, HM Jusuf Kalla. The museum was founded on Sawahlunto Railway station built in 1918.

Indonesia currently has 2 (two) railway museums, with the first in Ambarawa (Central Java) and the second in Sawahlunto (West Sumatra). While in Ambarawa there is tourism with steam locomotive trains, B25 02 or B25 03, travelling on rack railway, in Sawahlunto operates a touring railway with a steam locomotive E10 60, travelling on the rack railway used to transport coal. Construction of railways in West Sumatera cannot be separated from the discovery of coal in the area of Ombilin. Because of the geographical condition of West Sumatera which is mountainous, the railway tracks at several locations, such as the route Kayu Tanam - Padang Panjang - Batu Tabal, must get rack, requiring steam locomotives with special assembly (D18 and E10 series). After the era of diesel, diesel locomotive BB204 was imported and then replaced the old steam locomotives.

Sawahlunto Railway Museum is located at Abdul Rahman Hakim Street, Kampung Aia Dingin. Sawahlunto has the area of 1500 square meters.

There are approximately 80 collections of railway equipment at this museum such as clock, signal / communications equipment, photos documentation, safety box, jack rail, plant labels, scales and guards bell in the museum. In addition, in the museum yard are several kettle carriages, coal carrying compartments, some touring lorries and two wood-paneled carriages.

On February 21, 2009, PT Kereta Api (Persero) inaugurated the 2 (two) Sawahlunto touring trains. First, it is the train on the touring route Padangpanjang - Sawahlunto (80 km) withdrawn by diesel locomotives and equipped with BB204 rack gears. This tourist train is equipped with executive and business class compartments. The 3 hour travel doesn’t seem to be tiring when the train passes the famous Danau Singkarak (Lake Singkarak) which is famous for its beautiful scene. The second is the tourist train on the route Sawahlunto - Muara Kalaban (7 km) pulled by a steam locomotive, E10 60, that carries wood-paneled cars. What brings the incredible sensation and nostalgia is when the train enters the Kalam tunnel accompanied by the smoke and the shrill sound of the steam locomotive.

The local government of Sawahlunto makes these tourist trains as icons of tourism in Sawahlunto and then enrich them with mining and old town tourism in the area of Sawahlunto. The E10 60 steam locomotive manufactured by Esslingen (Germany) in 1966 which is also nicknamed 'Mak Itam' contributes to the uprising of Sawahlunto and introduces the town as one of the historical tourist destinations.

  Copyright © 2010 - Conservation and Heritage Center, Indonesian Railways
Photo's Courtesy KITLV, The Netherlands