Treasuring North Sumatra Railway (KA Sumatra Utara Aceh : Divre 1) – Belawan Railway Station

We now come to the most northern railway station of Indonesia (which is still active), Belawan Railway Station in Belawan, part of Medan city in North Sumatra. The address is in Jl. Kapten Raden Julian, Medan Belawan

Kali ini kita berkunjung ke stasiun kereta api paling Utara di Indonesia (stasiun yang sedang aktif), yakni Stasiun Belawan, yang terletak di Belawan, Medan, Sumatra Utara. Alamat stasiun ini adalah di Jl. Kapten Raden Julian, Medan Belawan.

(click on the image to see larger size..feel free to copy image but keep the watermarking copyright)

Belawan is a small port city which is located around 20 km from the heart of Medan town. A single railway track crosses along the line of Medan – Belawan. As it stands the railway is only used by freight trains to Belawan port, which is the 3rd biggest port in Indonesia. But don’t be confused, Belawan Railway Station is mainly designated for passenger train, . The loading/unloading of stuff from freight train are performed from the port, not from this railway station (see the map) The railway station itself is still around 2 km from the freight port area

Belawan adalah sebuah kota pelabuhan kecil yang terletak sekitar 20 km sebelah utara Kota Medan. Rel KA tunggal membentang dari Medan ke Belawan. Saat ini rel tersebut hanya digunakan oleh Kereta Barang yang tujuannya adalah ke pelabuhan Belawan, pelabuhan terbesar ketiga di Indonesia. Tapi jangan keliru, Stasiun KA Belawan lebih difokuskan untuk pelayanan penumpang, kereta barang hanya sekedar melintas. Kegiatan bongkar muat barang dari gerbong kereta api dilakukan di dalam area Pelabuhan Belawan. Stasiun ini sendiri masih jauh dari pelabuhan barang, sekitar 2 km.

belawan-1

Belawan Railway Station is side-to-side with new Bandar Deli Passenger Port. Medan city is app. 15 km to the South. 

The history of Belawan Railway Station goes back to 1883 when it was established by Nederland Colonialism Government who was occupied Indonesia land. The station stands as complement to Belawan Port – Medan – Deli Tua railway transportation to support the trading activities of plantation like tobacco (please refer to history links I provided under this article)

Stasiun Belawan sendiri telah ada sejak tahun 1883 pada masa Pemerintahan Kolonial Belanda yang menjajah wilayah Indonesia. Stasiun ini melengkapi jalur kereta api Belawan – Medan – Deli Tua yang dibangun untuk mendukung lalu lintas pengangkutan produksi hasil perkebunan seperti tembakau (artikel2 sejarah bisa dibaca lengkap di link2 di bagian bawah akhir artikel ini)

Momentarily about several years ago it served passenger train from Medan Main Railway Station (Stasiun Besar Medan) to Belawan, along with another commuter train Medan – Binjai. However due to shortage of demand that finds it incompatible with the operational cost, the train service of Medan city – Belawan was unfortunately discontinued.

Sebenarny stasiun ini pernah sebentar melayani KA penumpang Medan – Belawan, yang mana bersamaan dengan KA commuter (KRD) yang lain yaitu Medan – Binjai. Namun karena kurang penumpang yang tentu tidak seimbang dengan biaya operasional, layanan KA Medan – Belawan tersebut terpaksa dihentikan.

A few stills from the inside railway station. Some officers are there hence I find it inconvenience to take photographs from closer look

In 2016 ago, the passenger port named Bandar Deli Sea Port, just opposite to Belawan railway station is launched and starts to serve ship passengers (weekly) from Jakarta, Tanjung Balai Karimun, Batam (replacing old passenger port, Ujung Baru). The ship boards at Belawan on Saturday and leaves for Batam/Tanjung Priok on the following Tuesday. The ferry ship to Penang (Malaysia) is also resumed.

Thus, this leads to encouragements from public officials and North Sumatra parliament members to reactivate the train service between Belawan and Medan. It is believed that if it is reactivated, the passenger train at first might follow the arrival of ship in Belawan port (which means would not be daily regular journey initially).

Tahun 2016, pelabuhan penumpang Bandar Deli telah resmi dioperasikan menggantikan pelabuhan lama Ujung Baru.  Lokasiny persis berseberangan dengan Stasiun KA Belawan. Pelabuhan ini melayani penumpang kapal laut dari Jakarta / Tanjung Balai Karimun / Batam yang tiba / berangkat seminggu sekali. Kapal tiba di Belawan pada hari Sabtu, dan berangkat kembali ke Batam/Tanjung Priok pada hari Selasa. Kapal feri ke Penang Malaysia juga telah kembali beroperasi.

Hal ini membuat pejabat daerah dan anggota parlemen dari Sumatra Utara kembali menggelorakan reaktivasi kembali layanan KA penumpang Medan Belawan. Kemungkinan besar apabila kembali aktif, jadwal perjalanan KA awalnya hanya akan mengikuti jadwal tiba kapal laut (dan berangkat) di Pelabuhan Bandar Deli, sehingga mungkin belum aktif setiap hari.

                     Bandar Deli Sea Port. Look at second image, the left side is the port, 
              and on the right side is railway station, connected with a bridge (look at faraway)

Nevertheless, a crossing gate from the port to the railway station has been established, but since the train isn’t operating yet, the gate was not in use for now. In purpose, the gate will be used by passengers to walk through between railway station – port without need to go down and crossing the street. This type of crossing gate can also be seen in Merak Port in Banten Province, Java, where passengers from/to ship can go directly from/to station by using the crossing gate.

Meski belum diaktifkan kembali, tapi sebuah jembatan penyeberangan telah didirikan antara pelabuhan dan stasiun kereta api. Nantinya jembatan ini akan digunakan oleh penumpang yang baru tiba di pelabuhan langsung menuju ke stasiun kereta api atau sebaliknya, tanpa perlu turun dulu ke bawah menyeberangi jalan raya Kapt. Raden Julian.
Jembatan seperti ini juga ada di Pelabuhan Merak, Banten.

               Passenger bridge connecting Bandar Deli Sea Port and Belawan Railway Station

Trivia : this is an old photo from 2010 where the Bandar Deli port is not there yet, and the railway station building is still with old  paint.

belawan lama 2

Links for further reading: (please use Google Translate if you are not familiar with Indonesian language 🙂 )

  1. http://medan-utara.blogspot.co.id/2015/06/pemugaran-stasiun-belawan_11.html
  2. http://ahmadid.blogspot.co.id/2015/04/sejarah-stasiun-kereta-api-medan.html
  3. https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasiun_Belawan
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