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China-made trains for Indonesia’s first high-speed railway arrive in Jakarta

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When fully completed in June next year, the Jakarta-Bandung fast-trains will be the first high-speed rail link in Southeast Asia.

The first batch of China-made high-speed trains for the Jakarta-Bandung fast-train railway arrived in the Jakarta port on Friday (Sep 2).

It comprises one set of electric passenger trains and an inspection train for Indonesia’s first fast-train rail link covering a distance of 142 kilometres.

The trains which left Qingdao Port in East China’s Shandong province two weeks ago, were built by CRRC Qingdao Sifang, a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock.

The firm will transport another 10 sets of electric passenger trains for the high-speed rail link which is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) landmark project in Indonesia.

This is also the first time that high-speed trains made in China were exported to another country. 

“Thank God the first batch of Jakarta – Bandung high-speed train has arrived in Indonesia,” said Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi, president director of  PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (KCIC), a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese companies that oversees the landmark project.

KCIC said that the high-speed rail will be the fastest trains in Southeast Asia and also Indonesia’s first fast-train rail link. 

The rail line which is connecting Jakarta with Bandung will cut down travel time from more than three hours to just about 40 minutes. 

There will be four stations between Jakarta and the capital of neighbouring province West Java, Bandung.

Construction of the railway is about 80 per cent completed and is scheduled to be ready in June next year, said KCIC.

Altogether twelve train sets will be used for the project, consisting of 11 sets of passenger trains and one set of trains for rail line inspection.  

The trains will be shipped to Indonesia from China in four batches with the last batch set to arrive in March 2023. 

“The arrival of the trains is good news for Indonesia and shows that Indonesia can compete against developed countries,” said Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, deputy minister of state-owned enterprises. 

Each train set consists of eight carriages and can carry up to 600 passengers. 

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

The maximum speed of the train will be 350km per hour and is projected to carry 30,000 passengers daily. 

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway initiative began in 2015 and was originally targeted to be completed in 2019. 

Funded by China Development Bank, it was awarded to China after a competitive bid against Japan. 

However, the project faced several delays due to problems such as land acquisition and the COVID-19 health and movement restrictions.  

The cost was initially expected to be about 66.76 trillion rupiah (US$4.48 billion) but has since ballooned to 113 trillion rupiah, Mr Riyadi told the Indonesian parliament in February. 

China’s President Xi Jinping and his Indonesian counterpart President Joko Widodo are expected to try out the railway in November this year.

Source: Channel News Asia

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