Ambarawa Railway Museum was established in 1976, with main aim to preserve old locomotives that were not used anymore by Indonesian State Railway, now PT Kereta Api Indonesia. The train station of Ambarawa was built in May 21st 1873 on a 127.500 m2 land. The idea came from King Willem I who wanted to build a train station to give ease of mean to transport his troops to Semarang from Ambarawa, that was a military basis in Dutch Colonial era. The heyday of Ambarawa station was called as WILLEM I, and discontinue operation as train station that favour Ambarawa-Kedungjati-Semarang, and then in 1976 for track of Ambarawa-Parakan-Temanggung.
The closing of Ambarawa Railway Station, the Governor of Central Java, Mr. Soepardjo Roestam, and the head of Railway Company in Central Java, Mr Soeharso, decided to establish Ambarawa Station as a Railway Museum, by collecting 21 locomotives that favored Indonesian Independence day.
The purpose of the establishment of the museum is to preserve and utilize the historical objects for young generation appreciation about train as a reliable mode of transport also as mean for art development and culture understanding.
What are the collections of this Museum : Tourist Mountain Rail, Old telephone, Old Morse telegraph equipments, Old tables, chairs and cupboards, Old bells and signal equipments, 21 locomotives. And until today, visitors can still see few old room, furniture that were utilized in that era, also the waiting room of old Ambarawa Train Station and train track controller.
Nowadays, there are two locomotives that are on service for tourism purpose. Tourist can enjoy the old locomotive train ride that was once very popular. The train can carry 40 passengers using the old train by passing the old route railway of 20 KM vice versa from Ambarawa Station to Bedono Station that takes 2 hours duration. The museum charge 400 USD for maximum 40 passanger for this trip. There is motor lorry that serve cheaper rates for tourists with 5 KM distance track from Ambarawa to Jambu.
In colonial era, the trains in this station was used as public transportation and served passengers and transport crops of surrounding areas. To run through hilly areas, on the center of the train was assembled with special iron plates for ease of ascending.