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Jakarta Post

Why the government canceled high-speed railway project

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 4, 2015   /  04:00 pm
Why the government canceled high-speed railway project (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno) (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

(AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

The government announced Friday that the country'€™s high-speed train project worth billions of dollars was scrapped. President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo and his subordinates tried to explain the reason behind this decision.

There are two broads reasons that the government has offered to explain this sudden decision to abandon a project that would have connected Jakarta to Bandung in West Java.

1. Technical reason

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said that the project was not effective for such a short distance, only 150 kilometers. The early designs suggested that the maximum speed of the train would be 300 kilometers per hour and that there would be five to eight stops along the way. This meant that each station would be roughly 30 km from the next one. With such short distances, the thinking goes, it would be unlikely that the train would reach its maximum speed because a high-speed train would need time to reach its maximum speed of 300 kph.

'€œIf things are designed according to that plan, the train will only reach a maximum speed of 200 kph,'€ said Darmin, as quoted by on Friday.

Considering these limitations, the government may develop a medium-speed train that would reach 200-250 kph at its fastest. Darmin said that the medium-speed train was 30 to 40 percent less expensive than the high-speed train.

2. Financial reason

The government earlier decided to delay the project because it would have burdened the state budget, reported. Proposals from Japanese and Chinese investors have estimated that the project would be worth up to US$6 billion. Jokowi said that the capital and equity arrangements in the proposals from both Japan and China were a serious burden on the state budget. (nov/ika)

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