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Indonesia launches Southeast Asia’s first high-speed rail

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Widodo said the 600-capacity train was the first high-speed rail transport in Southeast Asia.

It is part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative – a decade-long program of China-backed infrastructure projects.

The president said the name is actually an acronym that stands for the tagline of “Waktu Hemat, Operaci Optimal, System Handle” – which in Bahasa Indonesia means “Time Saving, Optimal Operation, Reliable System”.

It was constructed by PT KCIC, composed of four Indonesian state companies, and Beijing’s China Railway International Company.

The project was initially slated to cost less than US$5 billion and was to be completed by 2019.

However, costs increased due to construction challenges and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In preparation for its opening, authorities have held public tests for the new high-speed route.



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