Indonesia Launches New High-Speed Rail That's Faster Than Japan's Shinkansen
Indonesia has just opened the country's first high-speed rail to the public after years of delay and cost issues
According to Reuters, the 142km railway connects Jakarta to Bandung. Its trains can ferry up to 600 passengers and travel up to a speed of 350km/hour.
The railway, called 'Whoosh', is also the first high-speed rail to be built in Southeast Asia, and at a maximum speed of 350km/hour, is faster than Japan's renowned bullet trains.
The Whoosh trains will shorten the travel time from Jakarta to Bandung from three hours to only 45 minutes
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, said its name is inspired by the sound of a rushing high-speed train.
According to BBC, the railway's name is also an acronym for 'Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Hebat', which translates to 'time saving, optimal operation, great system'.
The high-speed rail is said to operate on electricity and has zero direct carbon emissions.
Jokowi inaugurated the USD7.3 billion (RM34 billion) project on Monday, 2 October
The project, initially set to be completed in 2019, was delayed due to the pandemic and land acquisition problems, incurring higher costs.
However, the project was also backed by China, as it is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Jokowi said the railway is one of many methods that would ease traffic congestion, and called it "the modernisation of Indonesia's mass transportation".
Trial rides on the bullet train will be free until mid-October, after which ticket prices will be implemented
While ticket prices for the train have not been finalised, the company behind the train estimates that a one-way ticket may cost between IDR250,000 (approximately RM75) and IDR350,000 (RM105).
If you're looking for a scenic train ride in Malaysia, check out this overnight train from KL to Kelantan: