"We hope that the steam train made in 1921 could complement tourist attractions in Surakarta," Deputy Mayor of Surakarta Achmad Purnomo said after symbolically receiving the Djoko Kendil steam train granted by the state-run railway operator PT KAI here on Sunday.
The steam train, Purnomo said, would use the old railway that passed the city center and would become a cultural tourism attraction.
"This is the only (steam train in-city route) in Indonesia. Certainly, it will pass the city, it can reach Sangkrah, Sukoharjo, Wonogiri, and other districts," he said.
Meanwhile, Surakarta Mayor FX Hari Rudyatmo said, the presence of a steam train in the city would encourage people to learn the history of the nation.
"It is important for the nation to know its history. This train was boarded by Bung Karno (the late first president Soekarno) hence it would need to be preserved. Coincidentally, my father had the chance to drive both trains (Joko Kendil and Jaladara)," he said.
President Director of PT KAI (Persero) Edi Sukmoro said the steam train is granted to Surakarta City administration as a form of the company's commitment to repair and preserve old trains.
"This locomotive is 99 years old, it is rare. KAI has made its effort to fix the train and make it ready for operation. Actually we still have dozen other locomotives kept in Ambarawa. We want to activate the old and historical locomotives for tourism. Local, as well as foreign tourists, could learn the history from this train," he said.
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