News - 06 February 2018

Expansion of high-speed rail project under consideration: Luhut

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (center) appears in this Jan. 21, 2016 file photograph of the high-speed train project's groundbreaking ceremony in Cikalong Wetan, West Java. Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said that an expansion of the planned route was being considered i light of the President’s call for a reevaluation of the project. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

By Anton Hermansyah

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has said the government is studying the possibility of extending the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project to connect the newly constructed Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java, and even Yogyakarta and Surakarta in Central Java.

Luhut made the statement in response to President Joko Widodo’s call for a comprehensive reevaluation of the project, which the President had inaugurated in January 2016.  

"We will recalculate whether it can be extended to Kertajati, or even Yogyakarta and Surakarta. We will carry out a feasibility study," Luhut said on Monday after a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

He said that the planned 140-kilometer Bandung-Jakarta route was too short for a high-speed rail project. Extending the route to Yoyakarta would expand the route to 300 kilometers, an optimal distance for a high-speed railway project that would secure financial and technical support from China.

“We do not know yet [whether the project can be extended], but maybe we will build the 140-kilometer section first," Luhut said, adding that state-owned company PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI) would carry out the feasibility study.

“The President called for the reevaluation to be completed by the end of this month,” he said. (bbn)

The Jakarta Post