Construction of Medium-Speed Train in Indonesia Slated to Start Next Year

Rail, infrastructure, Indonesia, Jakarta, Surabaya, Japan

The Indonesian government expects to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) later this year with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the launch of construction of a medium-speed train project which would connect Jakarta to Surabaya. The project has been already delayed by three years as it was originally slated to start in 2017. 

Middle of next year, Indonesia expects that the first rail tracks will be set for the country’s newest rail project, a medium speed-train between Jakarta and Surabaya. Studies and construction will be done by Japan with a feasibility study currently conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency. The line will be the second important rail infrastructure in the country following the attribution two years ago of the country’s first high-speed train link from Jakarta to Bandung.

According to Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, the train project would take approximately two years for construction with another half year for testing the tracks and trains. If all runs according to the Minister, first passengers would board the train by the end of 2022.

The relatively short construction time is due to the scale down of the initial project which was originally a full-fledged high-speed link. To save on costs, the Indonesian government decided to only build a medium-speed train with new rail tracks only constructed between Jakarta and Semarang via Cirebon.

Trains would then use existing rail tracks from Semarang to Surabaya although the tracks would be upgraded. Trains would have an average speed of 140 to 145 km/hour with top speed in some areas reaching 160 km/h. The total travel time would then be reduced from over 10 hours to less than six hours. If trains are able to go a bit faster, up to 170 km/h, travel time would then be just under five hours.

The Japanese agency estimates that the project would cost approximately US$6.29 billion (Rp. 90 trillion) but the government would like to keep the price tag below US$ $.22 billion (Rp 60 trillion). JICA will provide loans to the construction while the government provides the land.