Whoosh: Indonesia inaugurates Southeast Asia’s first high-speed rail line

Indonesia has inaugurated Southeast Asia’s first high-speed rail (HSR) line, the Jakarta-Bandung HSR (Kereta Cepat Jakarta-Bandung in Indonesian, or KCJB) located in West Java province. Named ‘Whoosh’, the bullet train operates with a speed of 350 km/hr.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony today (2 Oct), Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said the name ‘Whoosh’ is inspired by the sound of a high-speed train that runs very fast. “It also stands for time saving [‘waktu hemat’], optimal operation [‘operasi optimal’] and great system [‘system hebat’].”

Spanning 142.3 km in length, the new HSR significantly reduces travel time between Jakarta and Bandung cities from three hours to less than an hour. It has four stations – Halim, Karawang, Padalarang and Tegalluar – with a depot in Tegalluar.

President Widodo highlighted that this new HSR “signals the modernisation of Indonesian mass transport system, which is efficient, environment friendly and integrated with other modes of transport. It is also integrated with a transit oriented development (TOD).”

As the first HSR in the country, President Widodo pointed out that the project is completely new for Indonesia, including its technology, train speed and construction method used. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs, also mentioned that technology transfer in construction is one of the benefits gained from this project.

The new HSR was developed by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC), a joint venture of Indonesian and Chinese companies. The Indonesian contractor, PT Wijaya Karya (Persero) Tbk (Wika), won an award for the project last year at the Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure event.

*All images are screenshots of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR inauguration ceremony video by Sekretariat Presiden (Indonesia’s Presidential Secretariat). The video can be viewed below.