Indonesia launches Southeast Asia's first high-speed rail

2 months ago 30

JAKARTA: Indonesia launched Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway on Monday (Oct 2), a delayed, multibillion-dollar project backed by China that President Joko Widodo hailed as "a symbol of our modernisation".

With a top speed of 350 kmh, the bullet train "Whoosh" can get between the capital Jakarta and Bandung in 45 minutes.

The 140km journey would previously have taken about three hours by train.

"The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train marks our efficient, friendly, and integrated mass transportation system," Widodo said during a ceremony at the capital's central station.

"It is a symbol of our modernisation in the public transport, seamlessly connecting with other modes of transportation."

Staff stand to greet passengers of the China-backed high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung called "Whoosh", as it parks at Padalarang station in West Java, Indonesia, Oct 2, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)
The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train named 'Whoosh' is seen after the inauguration at Padalarang station in Padalarang, West Java on Oct 2, 2023. (Photo: AFP/BAY ISMOYO)

Widodo said the 600-capacity train was the first high-speed rail transportation in Southeast Asia.

It is part of Beijing's Belt and Road initiative - a decade-old programme of China-backed infrastructure projects.

The president said the name was actually an acronym, standing for a tagl...

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