Airport train project back on track as Indonesian govt delays loop line

Airport train project back on track as Indonesian govt delays loop line
Aircraft parked at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The government's decision to delay an elevated loop line project on several sections of Jakarta's commuter line tracks has allowed the development of a railway connecting Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to continue.

State-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) president director Ignasius Jonan said the company would start working on parts of the commuter line airport train project, such as train signaling, next month.

"Other work will follow. Our target is to start operating this [airport] train system at the end of 2014," Jonan said on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting with deputies at the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry.

Previously, Jonan said the airport train project and the development of Greater Jakarta commuter lines had been hampered by the central government's decision to elevate sections of the railway in central parts of the city.

The loop line consists of major transit stations for passengers traveling to and from the suburbs that encircle the capital: Jatinegara (East Jakarta), Manggarai (South Jakarta), Tanah Abang (Central Jakarta), Duri (West Jakarta), Kota (West Jakarta), and Kampung Bandan (North Jakarta).

The airport commuter line alone will pass through Manggarai-Sudirman (Central Jakarta)-Tanah Abang-Duri-Grogol (West Jakarta)-Bojong Indah (West Jakarta)-Kalideres (West Jakarta)-Tanah Tinggi (Tangerang)-Soekarno Hatta.

"We have ordered coaches for this airport train system, made by [state-owned train maker] INKA and [Canadian aircraft maker] Bombardier," he said, adding KAI's subsidiary Railink would operate the Soekarno-Hatta commuter line.

According to Railink commissioner Bambang Irawan, his firm would operate six sets of trains, each consisting of 48 coaches, in the first stage of the operation.

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