PROGRES.ID – After seven years of construction, Southeast Asia’s first high-speed train, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail, was officially inaugurated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). This project, a collaboration between Indonesia and China, has now reached its operational phase.
Jokowi stated that the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, capable of reaching speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour. Known as “Whoosh,” this high-speed train marks a significant milestone for both Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Whoosh connects the cities of Jakarta and Bandung with a track length of approximately 142.3 kilometers, featuring four stations along the way: Halim, Karawang, Padalarang, and Tegalluar.
“This Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail is the first of its kind in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, with a speed of 350 kilometers per hour,” said Jokowi during the inauguration ceremony at Halim Station, East Jakarta, on Monday, October 2, 2023.
Jokowi also revealed that the name “Whoosh” for the train was inspired by the sound of high-speed trains racing at top speeds.
Construction of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Rail began in 2016 and covers a track length of 142 kilometers, connecting Halim Station, Karawang Station, Padalarang Station, and Tegalluar Station.
With an average speed of 350 kilometers per hour, the journey from Jakarta to Bandung now takes only about 30-45 minutes.
The project incurred a cost of approximately US$ 7.2 billion, equivalent to around Rp 18.58 trillion (based on an exchange rate of Rp 15,490), including additional expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since mid-September, the high-speed train has been undergoing free public testing as part of the preparations before its official launch.
Whoosh boasts a spacious and modern interior design with three passenger classes, accommodating a total of 601 passengers. The train’s facilities include power outlets, luggage racks, a mini bar, bag hooks, and accessible toilets.