State-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) is revitalizing at least 260 heritage sites and historical railways on the islands of Java and Sumatra, aiming at offering the sites as tourist attractions, according to a company executive.
PT KAI vice president for heritage building units Bidjak Filsadjati said that the revitalization programs, which had been started in 2009, were part of the company’s efforts to boost income.
The heritage sites included Lawang Sewu (1,000 doors) in Semarang, Central Java, Ambarawa railway in Magelang and Bandung - Cianjur railway in West Java.
“This year we have allocated Rp 20 billion (US$2.2 million) to restore and renovate 20 heritage sites belonging to PT KAI,” Bidjak said on Tuesday during a train trip from Bandung to Cianjur with officials from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
He said that the programs had boosted the company’s yearly income. For example, the company received Rp 1.5 billion per year from the selling of tickets to Lawang Sewu.
Bidjak added that the company had planned to add to the number of heritage sites, which would be restored, to 680 in the future.
Dutch cultural center Erasmus Huis assistant manager Bob Wardhana said that the center would hold an exhibition on the history of the railways in Indonesia, citing that the Nederlansch Indische Spoorwegen (Netherlands East Indies Railway), whose first office was in Semarang, was the embryo of PT KAI.
The exhibition will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, and in the Netherlands. (swd)