Day 5: KA Rapih Dhoho from Surabaya Gubeng to Kertosono

I started walking around Surabaya City after breakfast in the morning for a short while.

The Monkasel or Monumen Kapal Selam, also known as the Submarine Museum. Not very good at sinking under the water just beside it’s new home on land though.

On the way to Plaza Surabaya.

Once I realised that there’s no way I’m going to enjoy doing this for the next 11 hours to wait for the Mutiara Timur to Banyuwangi Baru and onwards to Denpasar, I opted to cover the missing line between Surabaya Gubeng and Kertosono which I missed out due to my detour to Malang.

Welcome to my kind of holiday.

Walking towards Surabaya Gubeng again, and the right way to spend the next few hours waiting for a train – to take other trains.

The Lokal and Komuter types of trains utilises the old and more convenient station.

A quick hop to the Go Show once again to get my ticket.

Proceeding to the platform for boarding.

The other passengers at the holding area at the platform before the train arrives.

My ticket for the journey to Kertosono, without a seat number because I was late in purchasing my ticket.

The Rapih Dhoho arriving at Surabaya Gubeng on time.

The other passengers head on to their coach if they saw it pass by them already, while others without a seat number find a suitable place to hang out for their journey.

The nameplate of the KA Rapih Dhoho.

In case you’re wondering why my ticket specifies the train as the KA Dhoho Penataran, the KA Rapih Dhoho and KA Penataran operates as a single “loop line” train. The train on my journey travels anti-clockwise plying the Surabaya Kota – Kertosono (change direction) – Blitar – Malang – Surabaya Kota route, though it’s split on official timetables so as to not confuse the general public on the routing. This also means that you can purchase a Kertosono – Surabaya Kota ticket via Malang as a single ticket instead of the two separate trains you see on paper, or if you really wanted to, a Surabaya Kota – Surabaya Kota ticket at the maximum fare.

The coach numbers on the train also specifies it as the Penataran/Dhoho.

Luckily for me, a Kereta Makan Pembangkit Kelas Ekonomi (KMP3) (that was a mouthful.) was attached on board so I got a seat at the start of my journey. The other Ekonomi Class coaches were all full up.

Crossing back over the Surabaya River.

Oh, in case you’re wondering where’s the “Makan” and “Pembangkit” part of the coach, here it is. No catering service was provided on this train though.

Making a quick stop at Wonokromo before entering my missing link.

Heading onwards to the fast and logical way to Kertosono.


The station master of Sepanjang confirming the end of my train.

Shortly after, the conductor comes around checking the tickets of everyone on board.



The scenery along the way.

Shortly after, I gave up my seat to a family who needed it more so that they could have the bay of four (and other seats) to themselves.



Approaching the Tarik – Sidoarjo shortcut line. This line is only served by the Jenggala plying between Mojokerto and Sidoarjo.

Stopping at Tarik for a long while to cross with the Jenggala bound for Surabaya Kota. There is a pair of Jenggala plying between Mojokerto and Surabaya Kota in the afternoon for the set exchange from Sidotopo depot, and they are on passenger service.

The Jenggala making a stop for a few seconds before heading on to Surabaya Kota.

Bye bye Jenggala. Will probably get on this on my next trip to Surabaya.

Approaching Mojokerto.


The typical station and journey scenery.

Along the way, the fixtures in the coach magically become mattresses for the babies on board.

The cleaning crew also chipped in to entertain the bored baby.

Meanwhile, time for a tour of the KMP3.

The generator room. You really don’t want to open the door while the generator is running unless you plan to have a sauna and clear all your earwax out.

The crew’s resting room, which I managed to get a peek inside with permission.

Looks nice in the photo, but after the air-conditioning conversion, this place is a disaster to rest in as there’s no air-conditioning and the window is completely sealed. Not to mention the generator which is located beside the thin wall against the bed.

The crew on this train were really friendly too, and were probably thinking I’m crazy for travelling on this local train and figuring out that it even existed. They asked how was the railway in Singapore and they couldn’t believe that the line has been cut to Woodlands and the only service is a 5-minute shuttle train across the causeway.

They did ask about the MRT system and to compare the fares though. I mentioned that the lowest cash fare for a 2-minute ride on the MRT would cost $1.40 (around Rp.13,500). In comparison, my 2.5-hour ride on this train to Kertosono costs Rp.12,000 and a 5-hour ride on this train to Blitar from Surabaya would cost Rp.15,000. Oh, and cigarettes cost $15 as compared to his box of Rp.15,000 worth ones.

Gila was the word I heard most from the crew during this part of the conversation.


Crossing with the KRD Kertosono at Sembung.

Kind of like the slim platform though, at least the train can enter the loop line straightaway for passenger movement.

Now the security personnel takes over entertaining the baby. I quickly made myself look busy with photos just in case they ask me to join in the fun.




Approaching the Blitar line.

Back on the track where I was yesterday.

Crossing over the Sungai Brantas.

A last look at the KMP3 before alighting.

How the usual Ekonomi Class looks like.

Exiting the station was slowed down thanks to the oil tanker train blocking the passage.

The nameplate of the Rapih Dhoho again.

Back at Kertosono.

The locomotive decoupling from the rake to get turned around to form the onward journey to Blitar and onwards to Malang and Surabaya Kota.


The exterior of Kertosono station, where I quickly bought my return trip back.

Next post: Day 5: KA Rapih Dhoho from Kertosono to Surabaya Gubeng

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