An employee of state-run railway company Kereta Api Indonesia cleans a railcar at Tawang Station in Semarang, Central Java, in this June 2018 file photo. (Antara Photo/Aditya Pradana Putra)

Construction of Jakarta-Surabaya Medium-Speed Railway to Start in 2022

BY :THRESA SANDRA DESFIKA

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019

Jakarta. The government plans to start construction of a 715-kilometer railway line between Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java, in 2022, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said Tuesday.

The new railway line, which will incorporate some existing tracks, will allow passenger trains to travel at speeds of up to 160 km per hour between the country's two largest cities.

The initial stage of the project, to be completed by 2024, will focus on a new one-way track, Budi told reporters in Jakarta after witnessing the signing of the project agreement between the governments of Indonesia and Japan.

The government will get support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has been conducting a preparatory survey since June this year. 

"By May 2020, JICA is scheduled to hand in the survey results, so we can make a decision on the project. Hopefully, the survey results will arrive earlier, so we can start working on land clearance sooner," the minister said.

He said land clearance would be the most challenging task and the project could therefore only start in 2022, at the soonest. 

"We will build a new track to Semarang [in Central Java], and then upgrade the existing tracks between Semarang and Surabaya. The whole project is targeted for completion by 2025," he said.

The project is expected to cost about Rp 60 trillion ($4.3 billion), which will come from Japanese loans, Budi said.

The railway line will upon completion cut travel time between Jakarta and Surabaya to five hours and 30 minutes, from nine hours currently. The fare is estimated at about Rp 500,000 per passenger.

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