The Pekanbaru-Muaro line (in Indonesian Jalur kereta api Muaro-Pekanbaru , English Sumatra Railway in Dutch Pakanbaroe-spoorweg ) is a railway line of 220 km in length between Pekanbaru and Muaro built by the Empire of Japan during the Second World War to strengthen the military and logistics infrastructure for the transport of coal and troops during its occupation Netherlands Indies .
The Japanese wanted to build a line connecting Pekanbaru with the Straits of Malacca coast by resorting to forced labor and Allied prisoners of war . More than 100,000 forced laborers, called Romusha , Indonesian , mostly Javanese , 6,500 Dutch , mostly Indo-European , as well as British prisoners of war were forced by the Japanese army. When the construction was completed in August 1945, more than half of the Indonesians and nearly a third of the prisoners of war died.
The goal was to be able to transport coal and Pekanbaru troops through a junction with an existing line at Muaro in West Sumatra . It was completed on August 15, 1945, the day of the surrender of Japan. It was only used to evacuate prisoners of war. She is now dilapidated.