A few months ago, Japan was evicted from a high speed project to link Jakarta to Bandung, 150 km away from the capital. The decision to give the line to a consortium of Chinese investors coupled with Indonesian state railways and motorway operator PT Jasa Marga created disappointment and anger among Japanese.
Japan’s voicing frustration has finally been heard by the Indonesian government. Indonesian president Joko Jokowi Widodo met with prime minister Shinzo Abe in Nagoya, Japan, to discuss Japan attribution of a project to build a second high speed rail connection, linking this time Jakarta to Surabaya over a distance of 730 km. Feasibility studies have still to be completed but the Indonesian government is confident that construction work would start from next year.
Surabaya is the country’s second largest city and at the same time the largest trading port in the archipelago. The future high speed train line would cut the travel time by a third to a half of current travel time. For now trains from Jakarta reach Surabaya after 8 to 10 hours. The new Jakarta-Surabaya line would only need 5 hours. The future Jakarta-Bandung line will cover the distance between both cities in only 45 minutes compared to over three hours with current trains. The project for the semi-high speed train route between jakarta and Bandung will request a total investment of US$5.5 billion.