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Indonesian Railways

The majority of Indonesia's railways is located on Java, used for both passenger and freight transport. There are three noncontinuous railway networks in Sumatra (Aceh and North Sumatra; West Sumatra; South Sumatra and Lampung) with two new networks is being developed in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.

Urban railway exist in form of commuter rail in Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. New mass rapid transit and light rail transit system are currently under construction in Jakarta and Palembang.

Indonesia's rail gauge is 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), although 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) and 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in) lines previously existed. Newer constructions in Aceh and Sulawesi are using the 1,435 mm gauge. Most of the Jakarta metropolitan area is electrified at 1500 V DC overhead.

Indonesia's railways are operated by the state-owned PT Kereta Api and its Jakartan subsidiary, the PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek. The infrastructure is state-owned, and companies  pay a fee for using the railways.

Various narrow gauge industrial tramways operate in Java and Sumatra, serving the sugarcane and oil palm industries.

The government has set a target of adding 3,258 km to the existing railway network (2,159 km intercity and 1,099 km urban), which will require IDR 283trn (US$ 23.9bn) of investment between 2015 and 2019. In addition, a share of the IDR 115trn (US$ 9.7bn) allocated for Urban Transport is aimed at constructing Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in six metropolitan cities and 17 large cities across Indonesia. Forecasted only US$ 18.3bn of investment for rail and rail MRT projects.


The first railway line in Indonesia opened in 1867. The railways were gradually expanded by both the state and private companies.

The Japanese occupation and the Indonesian War of Independence left Indonesia's railways in a poor condition. A batch of 100 steam locomotives were ordered in 1950, and dieselisation started in 1953. By the 1980s most mainline services had been dieselised. Electric multiple units were obtained from Japan beginning in the 1970s, replacing 60-year-old electric locomotives.

Since the independence era, all mainline railways in Indonesia have been managed by the state. The owners of the private railway were compensated first, but the system was fully nationalised in 1971.

Construction of new railway lines has been scarce, and most new construction is concentrated on double- and quad-tracking of existing railway lines. Most of the former tramway lines have been closed, reducing the mileage from about 7000 km to only 3000 km.


Railways on Java :- The first railways in Indonesia were built on the island of Java, using 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge. During the Japanese occupation, they were converted to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge. At its greatest extent, the Javanese network had a length of 4,807 kilometres (2,987 mi), connecting most parts of the island.

  • Jakarta Kota-Anyer Kidul railway
    • Duri-Tangerang railway
    • Rangkasbitung-Labuan railway
      • Saketi-Bayah railway
  • Jakarta Kota-Manggarai railway
  • Jatinegara-Manggarai railway
  • Cepu Forest Railway

Railways on Sumatra :-

In Sumatra as of 2013, there are 1,869 kilometres of track, of which 1,348 km are operational.  Several unconnected railway networks were built in the time of the Dutch East Indies:

  • Banda Aceh-Lhokseumawe-Besitang-Medan-Tebingtinggi-Pematang Siantar-Rantau Prapat in northern Sumatra (the Banda Aceh-Besitang section was closed in 1971, but is being rebuilt, as of 2011)
  •  Padang-Solok-Bukittinggi in West Sumatra
  •  Bandar Lampung-Palembang-Lahat-Lubuk Linggau in southern Sumatra.


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