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Indonesia to conduct study on high-speed rail link, says coordinating minister

CNA – Indonesia wants to conduct a preliminary study on a Bandung-Surabaya high-speed rail link connecting the country’s most populous island Java from west to east, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan said yesterday.

Pandjaitan made the remarks after trying out the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train during a trial run.

“We want to report to the president about preliminary studies for one (high-speed train) from Bandung to Surabaya.

“Of course, with our current experience, there will definitely be a lot of savings that we can make,” Pandjaitan said.

Pandjaitan and Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi rode on the high-speed train from Bandung to Jakarta as it was tested for the first time at its projected speed of 350 kilometres per hour (km/h) during commuter travel.

“This was the first time, and Insya Allah willing, it will go up to Surabaya,” Sumadi said.

A Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train in Jakarta’s Halim station, after finishing a trial test yesterday. PHOTO: CNA
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan and Indonesia’s Minister for Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi. PHOTO: CNA

“Extraordinarily, (the train travelled at) 350km/h, and it was stable. It could run without us needing to hold on (for support).”

He also revealed that the high-speed train managed to hit a speed of 385km/h.

The project consists of 11 electric passenger trains and one inspection train. Each train has eight carriages and can carry up to 600 passengers at any one time.

It has a VIP class for 18 passengers, a first-class carriage that can carry 28 passengers, second-class carriages for 555 passengers and a dining carriage.

It is projected that 30,000 passengers will be carried daily once the trains are operational.

Sumadi said that all of the trains will be tested until the end of July so that they will be ready for a soft launch slated to be attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in August.

During the soft launch, selected members of the public would be invited to try out the new high-speed trains for free.

It is hoped that the trains will be fully operational by October.

The high-speed rail project will be the fastest in Southeast Asia and is Indonesia’s first fast-train rail link.

The 142-kilometre rail line will connect Jakarta with West Java’s capital Bandung through four stations in about 40 minutes.

On a regular train, the same journey currently takes about three hours.