(ECNS) -- The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, a signature project of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative in Indonesia, has wowed local passengers after it began official operation on Tuesday.
"It's so fast and comfortable," said a man from West Java Province. In front of the locomotive bearing the letters "WHOOSH", he took a photo with another three family members.
This 142-kilometer railway has four stops and passes through eight cities and counties, connecting Indonesia’s capital with Bandung, a popular tourism destination.
A simple but lively ceremony was held at Halim Station, with designs full of Indonesian and Chinese cultural characteristics. Many passengers took photos with WHOOSH to capture this historical moment. With a red and silver body, it is called the "Red Komodo" by local people.
WHOOSH, is the first project to fully utilize Chinese railway systems, technology, and industrial components. According to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the name is an acronym for "being fast, efficient and reliable" in Indonesian.
At 3:35 p.m., the train departed from the station. It made a layover at Padalarang Station, the only hub that serves transfers between high-speed and regular trains. After 46 minutes, WHOOSH arrived at its destination Tegallugar Station, where free delicacies were specially prepared and beautiful mountains and fields awaited.
The first official operation reached a speed of 351 km per hour, surpassing the announced maximum speed of 350 km per hour. "It’s like being on an airplane," said one of the passengers.
With highly advanced automation, the train has over 2,500 detection points, which secure real-time monitoring, early warning, and diagnostics of all critical systems.
Guo Lei, design director, said that the existing railway between the two cities only had a speed of slightly over 50 km per hour, which often faced traffic congestion. Jakarta-Bandung HSR cuts the journey from over three hours to around 40 minutes and will significantly ease the traffic pressure.
Widodo also expressed the hope for more Indonesian people to use public transportation. He took a test ride on Sept.13 and described the experience as fast, quiet, and smooth. A widely circulated video shows a coin can remain stable on the windowsill under such high speed.
Local passengers said the Jakarta-Bandung HSR provides them with a journey that is not only fast but also clean and stylish, which is totally different from their former experiences.
The Jakarta-Bandung HSR not only brings convenience for local people, but also provides 51,000 job opportunities and training for 45,000 Indonesian employees, promoting the development of industries along the route.