Jakarta-Surabaya railway slated to begin construction next year. The government expects to sign later this year a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a Tokyo-based development assistance fund, to begin construction of a medium speed train project by the middle of next year.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters in Jakarta on Monday evening that the JICA was in the middle of completing a comprehensive feasibility study on the train project, which is estimated to take two years to construct and then six months to test before becoming operational in late 2022.
Railtrack construction, he continued, would involve two phases whereby the first phase will build a new railtrack from Jakarta to Semarang while the second phase will upgrade the existing railtrack from Semarang to Surabaya.
“It’s like how they made the MRT. They took a while but we were satisfied with the results because the preparations were well done,” he said after a meeting with Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.
He added that JICA estimated the project to cost Rp90 trillion (US$6.29 billion) in total but the government would try to keep the price tag below Rp60 trillion. JICA would provide the loans while the government provides the land.
The medium-speed train will have average speeds of between 140 and 145 kilometers per hour (kph) with a top speed of 160 kph but the important point, said Budi, was that it could cover Jakarta to Surabaya in less than six hours. Jakarta-Surabaya railway slated to begin construction next year (hen, Norman Harsono, The Jakarta Post)