A preliminary feasibility study by BPPT, the transport ministry, PT KAI (state railway company) and Japan, showed that medium speed train is enough to reduce the land and air transport burden between the two countrys largest cities, BPPT chief Unggul Priyanto said here on Thursday.
"Building speed train as Japans Shinkansen would cost hugely. Development of express train is urgent , and its development should start in 2017 although not many are interested in the project, Unggul said.
The study also showed that the existing rails could still be used for medium speed train, he said.
"The existing rails, therefore, could be used more optimally and no need to build new track," he added.
In 2016, BPPT provided technical support for the development of the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) in Palembang and study on the Greater Jakarta LRT system together with the transport ministry and on the Jakarta-Bandung speed train project.
Earlier Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said based on the result of a recent meeting between President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Indonesia government offered an opportunity for Japan to submit proposal for the plan to revitalize Java northern rail tracks.
Budi said the government had offered Japan the opportunity to take part in the project estimated to cost Rp80 trillion.
The government will also offer this project to other countries, including China, who won the high-speed railway project linking Jakarta to Bandung, West Java.
The government expects the upgraded line will shorten the trip to six hours from the current 13 hours using regular trains of state railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI).
The prospective contractors would prepare pre feasibility study including on the value of investment, and the result of the study would be compared with one by the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas).
The minister said the offer to Japan and other foreign countries was made because of the governments limited budget for transportation projects.
He said the medium-speed train would operate on the existing line, with the government planning to eliminate 1,000 level crossings from the track from Jakarta to Surabaya.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan delivered an official letter offering the project to the Japanese government during his recent visit to Tokyo.(*)