Indonesia on Tuesday marked a milestone in its Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway (HSR) project with the breakthrough of a tunnel at the project's landmark site in West Bandung regency.
The Walini tunnel breakthrough nearly completes the construction of 608-meter HSR tunnel near the Walini station.
"Walini tunnel breakthrough event is a milestone for HSR project in Indonesia. This milestone would further convince Indonesian people that having HSR train serves in Indonesia is not an expectation that cannot be fulfilled," Managing Director of PT China Indonesia Fast Train (KCIC) Chandra Dwiputra said.
KCIC is a joint venture consortium by Chinese and Indonesian state-owned firms that runs the 142-km HSR train project linking Jakarta and capital of West Java province of Bandung.
The Walini tunnel is one of 13 tunnels constructed for the Jakarta-Bandung HSR project. Built in 15 months, it has a diameter of 12.6 meter in the inner section and 14.3 meter in the outer section, Chandra said.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said that the Jakarta-Bandung HSR project would spur new economic centers alongside the route with the opening of new settlements and cities alongside the route.
"Operation of Jakarta-Bandung HSR train would set a new city development standards that heavily highlights on advanced connectivity. We hope that it would also link the newly-opened cities with strategic and essential places to further boost the economy," Ridwan said in the event.
He added that his office would also build a transit station linking the HSR station in Tegal Luar to downtown area with Light Rail Transit (LRT) transportation system.
The HSR train enables people to travel in about 40 minutes between Jakarta and Bandung, while regular trains or cars take up to 3 hours. Four stations located in Jakarta, Karawang, Walini and Tegal Luar have been planned to facilitate travelers using the HSR train.
Indonesia State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno said that the China-Indonesia joint venture firm has apparently been very effective in building the tunnel in Walini.
"I convey my greatest gratitude for China's willingness to provide training programs for Indonesian engineers involved in the project site as well as sending them to China for further training session. I have a dream that within the next 10 years Indonesia and China can work together in developing HSR train in other countries," she said.