Jakarta-Bandung HSR, landmark BRI project, starts official operation
Railway to boost commercial development and tourism along its route: experts
Published: Oct 17, 2023 11:55 PM
A view of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway Photo: VCG

A view of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway Photo: VCG

The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR), the first HSR in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and a landmark project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), began official operation on Tuesday, according to China State Railway Group Co. The official operation was jointly announced by the top leaders of China and Indonesia following their meeting on Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The launch of the HSR will inject momentum into regional economic and social development and offer a demonstration effect for future BRI developments, experts said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday held talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is in Beijing to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and pay an official visit to China.

Xi said that over the past 10 years, China and Indonesia have been following the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, making joint efforts in promoting development and delivering huge benefits to the people of the two countries. He also hailed the cooperation between the two countries as an important example for international cooperation in building the BRI.

China is willing to continue to enhance mutual support on the path of realizing modernization and national rejuvenation with Indonesia and promote the long-term and steady growth of bilateral relations, Xi said.

At 4:35 pm on Tuesday, train G1137 left the Halim Station in Jakarta, marking the official operation of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR, according to China Railway Group.

The operation of the HSR marked a landmark achievement between China and Indonesia in jointly building the BRI, the state railway operator said.

Connecting Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, and Bandung, the fourth-largest city in Indonesia, the Jakarta-Bandung HSR is 142 kilometers long and has a maximum design speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It will cut the journey between the two cities from 3.5 hours to just 46 minutes.

The HSR passes through the hinterlands of West Java province and has several stops including Halim, Karawang, Padalarang and Tegalluar.

The railway operator said that in the initial phase of operation, 14 trains will run between Jakarta and Bandung. The frequency will be adjusted based on market demand and traffic flows.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR is the first project under which Chinese high-speed railway technology was implemented in a comprehensive way outside of China, with the whole system, all elements and the entire industry chain.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the Jakarta-Bandung HSR is an iconic project in promoting high-quality construction of the BRI and it will have a demonstration effect for future BRI developments in Southeast Asia.

"The high-speed railway not only marks the modernization of Indonesia's transportation system, by connecting Jakarta and Bandung it will also greatly promote the development of industries along the route, such as commercial development and tourism," Wang noted.

It will contribute to the overall integration of connectivity within ASEAN, further bringing the economies of ASEAN and China closer, Wang added.

A spokesperson of the China Railway No.4 Engineering Group Co told the Global Times in September that ridership of the HSR could exceed 10 million trips in the first year of operation. China Railway No.4 Engineering Group Co participated in the construction of the rail line.