The rail transport in Indonesia is concentrated on the island of Java , has 2 main lines that cross the island from west to east and several secondary lines. In addition, Jakarta and the conurbation of which it is the center, Jabodetabek , has a regional express network , the KRL Jabotabek . Outside of Java, Indonesia’s only rail-owning region is in Sumatra , in the north of the island (North Sumatra and Aceh provinces ), centered on Medan , in the west ( West Sumatra province).) and in the south (South Sumatraand Lampung provinces ), centered on Palembang.

The current network consists of 6,529 km of lines, of which 5,042 km in operation (3,672 km in Java and 1,370 in Sumatra). About 100 km are electrified in Java. Indonesian rail transport is the monopoly of the national company PT Kereta Api (Persero) (” Indonesian Railways Company “) or PT KA.


In colonial times

In the Dutch East Indies , Dutch, German and British interests built a railroad in Java. The first tracks were built in the 1860s with a UIC standard gauge, called the ” normal track ” of 1.435 meters in the southern part of the island by the Nederlandse Indische Spoorwegen Maatschappij (NISM, “Dutch East Indies Railway Company”) ). This network is not very economical. Other tracks are then built with a narrower spacing of 3 feet and 6 inches (1.067 meters), called ” South African Way “.

The narrow roads being more profitable it is to this distance that is built the rest of the network of the island. In addition, a network known as ” Decauville ” (60 cm) is built in the sugar cane plantation areas of Java.

During the Japanese occupation of Java during the Second World War , sections of standard gauge tracks and rolling stock were dismantled and transported to Manchuria .

The independent Indonesia

After the proclamation of independence in 1945, Indonesia will continue to use steam traction for a long time. In the 1980s, most steam locomotives were sent either to scrap metal, the Ambarawa Railway Museum , or kept on the sugar network.

Foreign private networks are nationalized in 1971 .


South Sumatra

The doubling of the 80-kilometer track between Prabumulih and Tanjung Enim stations is expected to be completed by mid-July 2015. It will allow the transport of coal not to disrupt passenger traffic 1 .


Main article: Railway projects in Indonesia .


Tourist guides and maps published in the 1980s , and even now, still indicate closed or long-suppressed lines. It is therefore imperative to update the information with the railway company.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ “Double track railway nears completion in S. Sumatra”, The Jakarta Post , June 8, 2015