Indonesia gets its China-backed ‘Whoosh’ Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway rolling
President Joko Widodo officially named the railway ‘Whoosh’ after the acronym for ‘timesaving, optimal operation, reliable system’ in IndonesianThough beset with delays, cost overruns and doubts about its commercial benefits, the US$7.3 billion, 142km-long railway is now operationalIndonesiaAssociated PressPublished: 3:04pm, 2 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway on Monday as it was set to begin commercial operations, a key project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure initiative that will drastically reduce the travel time between two key cities.The project has been beset with delays and increasing costs, and some observers doubt its commercial benefits. But Widodo has championed the 142km (88-mile) railway, which was issued its official operating licence from the Transportation Ministry on Sunday.The US$7.3 billion project, largely funded by China, was constructed by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China, known as PT KCIC, a joint venture between an Indonesian consortium of four state-owned companies and China Railway International Co. Ltd.
The railway connects Jakarta with Bandung, the heavily populated capital of West Java province, and will cut travel time between the cities from the current three hours to about 40 minutes.