Railbus Lembah Anai: Lubuk Alung to Kayu Tanam by Train

The Railbus Lembah Anai is the third railbus service in Indonesia, plying the partially revived line between Lubuk Alung and Kayu Tanam. This service provides a Public Service Obligation (PSO) link to the smaller towns on the way to Bukit Tinggi as far as possible, up till the start of the disused rack-and-pinion railway after Kayu Tanam where trains can no longer ascend by their own motive power due to the steep inclines.

Railbus Lembah Anai tickets can only be purchased at stations where the Railbus Lembah Anai serves. As such, pre-booking is not available in Padang, and I had to get my ticket on the spot at Lubuk Alung after getting off the KA Sibinuang.

Outside the station, the entrance is not immediately recognizable due to the overflowing market.

You can do some local shopping outside if you have a long wait for the trian.

My ticket for the Railbus Lembah Anai from Lubuk Alung to Kayu Tanam. As there is no digital check-in system on the Railbus Lembah Anai line, a stamp is provided on the ticket as I entered the platform area.

The doors for the Railbus Lemban Anai are opened shortly after passengers from the incoming KA Sibinuang have exited the platform area.

The mandatory briefing before the departure of the train.

The Railbus Lembah Anai awaiting departure from Lubuk Alung.

Steps are provided at the station to ascend up to the train.

An additional built-in step is also placed below the doors.

The interior of the Railbus Lemban Anai. The air-conditioning on board is pretty cooling too, probably due to the train’s newer age, smaller size and built-in air-conditioning system as compared with the added-on multi-split system in Ekonomi coaches.

The route map of the Railbus Lemban Anai.

The builder plate and rear car number of the Railbus Lemban Anai.

Seats are arranged in a 2+2 formation with padded cushions on hard plastic seats.

The wide gangway space is similar to the Railbus Kertalaya, probably to balance out the Jacob’s bogie below.

There are two unique single seats in the first car where there is a partition.

The interior of the first car of the train (Lubuk Alung-end).

The interior of the middle car of the Railbus Lembah Anai.

Unfortunately, the main windows have been plastered over by perforated stickers of the KA Lembah Anai service.

The doors are of a comfortable height.

Overhead luggage racks are available as well.

The generous legroom on board.

The doors were closed right on time for departure at 10.15am.

The LED sign at the front of the train tells of the current location of the train as well as the speed.

Heading on the straight track towards Kayu Tanam, with the line to Pariaman branching off.

Tickets are checked by the conductor upon departure.

The inland route in Padang Pariaman is a lot more lush than the line to the coast at Pariaman.

The speed of the train increases as it heads to Sicincin.

The scenery along the way to Sicincin.

Approaching Sicincin.

A break in track for the platform line at Sicincin. While the station has originally 3 lines, only one line (Line 2 – rehabilitated track) is in operation with just a spur provision for the platform line (Line 1).

However, with the station sign in place on Line 1, it doesn’t look like there will be plans to add on a rehabilitated line any time soon.

The train stops at Line 2, currently the only active line at the station.

A security officer setting a good example for PT KAI as he helps an old lady with her bags as she alights from the train.

Continuing onwards to Kayu Tanam.

As the mountainous area starts, fast moving rivers can be seen from the train.

Approaching Kayu Tanam.

Kayu Tanam was once a major station at the start of the rack and pinion railway, with it having 8 lines running through it to stable trains.

A new shed specially for stabling of the Railbus Lembah Anai.

Pulling into the station.

Disembarking from the Railbus Lembah Anai.

Once all passengers have alighted, the doors are closed and the train shunts to the shed.

Departing from the Kayu Tanam platform.

The station hall of Kayu Tanam is fairly simple, just a ticket counter and a couple of seats around.

The overall station hall of Kayu Tanam Railway Station.

The overall exterior of Kayu Tanam Railway Station.

The maintenance area at Kayu Tanam Railway Station.

An information board of the Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto stands outside the station.

The timetable of the Railbus Lembah Anai.

Changing the points and signal for the Railbus Lembah Anai to enter the maintenance facility.

The Railbus Lembah Anai parks here, awaiting for the afternoon return trip to Lubuk Alung again.

From here, I explored a little bit of the disused rack-and-pinion railway and Kayu Tanam town while waiting for this afternoon train back to Lubuk Alung.

Overall, a basic PSO service which allows the small number of locals to access Lubuk Alung and Padang on the mainline, with a sharp-on-time arrival and departure, just like all other PT KAI trains in Indonesia.

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