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First girder erected in Indonesia high-speed train project

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Illustration photo of a Japanese high-speed train in Tokyo. The governments of Japan and Indonesia plan to build a railway line for semi-high-speed trains connecting Jakarta and Surabaya by 2025.(JP/Riza Roidila Mufti)

First girder erected in Indonesia high-speed train project

The development of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project in Indonesia has reached another important milestone following the installation of the first box girder which will support an elevated section in West Cikarang, West Java on Monday.

Chandra Dwiputra, the president director of PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) – the Indonesia-China consortium responsible for the project – said the construction of the elevated section marked another important phase in the railway’s construction after the completion of the 608m tunnel in Walini, West Bandung regency.

The high-speed railway project connecting Jakarta and Bandung in West Java will serve four main stations, namely Halim in Jakarta, Karawang in West Java, as well as Walini and Tegaluar in Bandung regency. Of the 142.3km track, as much as 80km will be elevated, 16.9km will pass through tunnels and the remaining track will be on the landed subgrade.

“As we know that elevated structures make up the majority of our railway project, this girder installation will accelerate the development of the railway track, which is expected to be connected in 2020,” Chandra said during a ceremony to mark the installation of the girder.

“Aside from girder installation, we will also install the continuous beam [for the elevated track] in the future.”

He said the box girder installed on Monday was one of 2,000 box girders to be built to support the elevated structure. Each box girder is 30m long and weighs almost 900 tonnes.

The box girders are produced at three casting yards located in Cikarang and Bandung. The girders are produced by PT Wijaya Karya in cooperation with Chinese construction company Sinohydro and China Railway Group Limited.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, who also attended the ceremony, said she was so proud of the project’s progress, especially the girder installation and the Walini tunnel that was completed in May.

“This girder weighs almost 900 tonnes, there has never been a girder as heavy as this. In May, we completed the Walini tunnel and today [on Monday] we installed the giant girder, the heaviest ever in Indonesia. It is a historic moment and milestone for Indonesia,” she said.

With the ongoing construction, Rini said the physical development of the railway project could be finished by the end of next year and the railway could open in 2021. “By the end of this year, we aim to complete 50 per cent of the development.”

The Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway has made significant progress this year after being criticised last year for its sluggish progress. However, this year remarkable progress has been made.

Aside from the box girder installation, this year the construction is focused on the development in critical spots, including the construction of 13 tunnels spread along the route between Jakarta and Bandung.

In March, a tunnel boring machine, which was brought from China, started drilling the Halim Tunnel under the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road. The Halim Tunnel is 1.88km long and named Tunnel No 1.

As of last month, the construction rate of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway had reached 34.89 per cent. The target of 50 per cent completion by the end of the year is slightly lower than the 60 per cent initially targeted by KCIC.

Land clearance for the project has reached 99 per cent. Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry land procurement director-general Arie Yuriwin said on Monday only around 1.42km of land still needed to go through a further clearance process.

“We are in the consignment process for this one per cent of the land as there is still objection from the affected citizens. However, God willing, by October all the land for this high-speed railway project can be cleared,” she said.

The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway project is one of the government’s national strategic projects in the transportation sector with total investment for the project at $6.07 billion. The groundbreaking ceremony for the project took place in January 2016. The railway will travel at 350km/h, cutting travel time between Jakarta and Bandung to 45 minutes, faster than 3.35 hours on a normal train.

The high-speed railway project is to be integrated with four transit-oriented developments (TODs) along the railway line, namely in Halim, Karawang, Walini and Tegaluar. The TODs are expected to create a new economic centre in the future.



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