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Indonesia Index


A passenger train at the Jakarta Railway Station
Courtesy M. Rachmana Achmad


Rural bridge construction in Jawa Barat Province
Courtesy Indonesian Department of Defense and Security

In the early 1990s, Indonesia had 6,964 kilometers of railroad track, all of it government-owned and -operated under the authority of the Department of Communications' Indonesian State Railways (PJKA). Some 211 kilometers of the roadbeds were laid in double tracks, and 125 kilometers--all in Java--were electrified. There were plans to expand the electrified system to 220 kilometers and nine cities in the 1990s. Of total track, 92 percent was 1.067- meter gauge, whereas 7 percent was 0.750-meter gauge, and the rest was 0.600-meter gauge. The rail network was largely on Java, where about 75 percent of the total track was located. PJKA's traction and rolling stock in 1990 included 546 diesel locomotives, 30 fourcar electric multiple unit sets, 164 diesel railcars, 1,262 passenger cars, and 13,039 freight cars with plans for further acquisition of locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars. Some thirty-five steam locomotives had been retired from the main inventory in the late 1980s.

Although trains were used mostly for passenger transportation, freight hauling had made significant increases in the 1980s, increasing from 800 million tons per kilometer annually in the early 1980s to around 3 billion tons per kilometer by the start of the 1990s. This increase reflected the rapid economic development taking place in Indonesia. The railways were most suited to hauling bulk items such as fertilizer, cement, and coal, since freight hauling was far more profitable than passenger traffic. Because of the improvements in road transport, passenger trips on railways were primarily for longer trips, especially in excess of 100 kilometers. Starting in the 1980s, railroads provided important links for carrying maritime containers to and from inland locations.

Much of the railroad network, however, was built before World War II, overburdened by users, and in need of substantial overhaul. Maintenance of railroad rolling stock thus was given special attention in FY 1989 and FY 1990 through a US$28 million World Bank loan. More than 50 locomotives, 140 passenger cars, and 2,000 freight cars were scheduled for repair and rehabilitation. Government funds also were provided under Repelita V for 15 new foreign-made diesel locomotives (mostly from Canada and Japan) and 265 Indonesian-made freight cars designed for hauling coal, cement, fertilizer, and palm oil. Funds also included purchases of foreignmade signal equipment and automatic crossing gates.

Data as of November 1992

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