50 (Almost) New Trains for Jakarta’s Rail System

50 (Almost) New Trains for Jakarta’s Rail System :Jakarta’s wizened commuter trains will soon be replaced by secondhand rolling stock from Japan.

Thirty trains arrived on Sunday at Tanjung Priok Port to help replace the older models currently serving the capital’s commuter line, an executive from the line’s operator said.

Tri Handoyo, the managing director of KAI Commuter Jakarta (KCJ), said on Monday that another 20 trains would follow this delivery to further bolster the carrying capacity of the Greater Jakarta commuter rail system.

Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta, Tri insisted that despite being used for years in Japan, the trains were more than fit to serve Jakarta’s rail network.

“These type 205 trains only stopped operating in Japan two weeks ago. We immediately took them, so they’re not junk,” he said, adding that the trains were the best option for Indonesia today.

Tri also said that with proper maintenance, the trains could be used safely for the next 20 years. “We will take good care of them,” he said.

Tri added that the type 205 train was also chosen because it could accommodate a larger number of passengers compared to the current trains operating in Jakarta due its internal configuration.

“So in the morning, if the train is full, the seats can be folded so that all passengers will stand,” he said, adding the seats in the women-only carriages would not be folded, to allow pregnant passengers to sit.

According to a report by Republika, KCJ bought up to 308 train cars between 2009 and 2012.

The train procurement program is part of the government’s plan to provide 160 new trains annually until the end of 2019, in line with its target to transport 1.2 million passengers daily by the same year.

Tri noted that the government had focused on buying trains from Japan because the country was one of the few in the world using train tracks with the same gauge as in Indonesia.

“Countries with compatible trains include Japan, New Zealand and some countries in Africa. Even African countries buy their trains from Japan,” Tri said.

He added that KCJ could have opted to purchase brand new trains from Europe or China, but that would have resulted in drastic increases in ticket prices.

“The prices could be 12 times more expensive compared to the used trains. We chose to go with the cheaper option so that it would fit with the Rp 9,000 [79 cent] train fare from Jakarta to Bogor,” he said.

50 (Almost) New Trains for Jakarta’s Rail System

Source : www.thejakartaglobe.com

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