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Published 9 months ago

Indonesian leader takes a test ride on Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway

  • President Joko Widodo tested Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway, a joint venture between Indonesia and China, which will begin commercial operations on Oct. 1. The railway will reduce travel time between Jakarta and Bandung from three hours to about 40 minutes, aiming to alleviate congestion and pollution caused by private cars.
  • The high-speed rail project, mostly funded by China, aims to modernize and develop Indonesia's transportation infrastructure. The project faced challenges in land acquisition and environmental issues, leading to an increased cost from the original plan of $4.3 billion to $7.3 billion. The rail line is part of China's Belt and Road initiative and is expected to improve connectivity between Jakarta and Bandung, benefiting the Indonesian economy.
  • The high-speed trains, capable of reaching speeds up to 350 kph, were modified for Indonesia's tropical climate and equipped with a safety system. The rail project will have four stations, with the first station located in eastern Jakarta. The successful test ride demonstrated the potential success of the project and President Widodo's vision to encourage people to use mass transportation instead of private cars.
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