The Indonesian Railway
: PT Kereta Api Indonesia (Persero)) is the major operator of public railways
. It is completely owned by the government
and pays track access charges to the government. One of its subsidiaries, PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek
, is operating electrified commuter service
in Jakarta metropolitan area
from August 14, 2008.
PT Kereta Api Indonesia (Persero) is the latest in a long line of successive state railway companies dating from Dutch colonial
Repronegatief. Het perron van het eerste station van de Nederlands-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij te Semarang.
The first railway line in Indonesia began operations on August 10,
1867 in Central Java. By May 21, 1873, the line had connected three main
cities in the region, i.e. [Semarang], Solo
. This line was operated by a private company, Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij
(NIS: Netherlands East Indies Railway Company).
The liberal Dutch
government of the era was then reluctant to build its own railway, preferring to give a free rein to private enterprises
However, private railways could not provide the expected return of
investment (even NIS required some financial assistance from the
government), and the Dutch Ministry of Colonies finally approved a state
railway system, the Staatsspoorwegen
(State Railway), extending from Buitenzorg (now Bogor
) in the west, to Surabaya
in the east. Construction began from both ends, the first line (from
Surabaya) being opened on May 16, 1878, and both cities were connected
Locomotive and train of the Dutch Indies Railway Company(Nederlands-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij), Java.
Private enterprises did not completely get out of the picture, and at
least 15 light railway companies operated in Java. These companies
operated as "steam tram
companies", but despite the name, were better described as regional secondary lines.
As befits a colonial
enterprise, most railway lines in Indonesia had a dual purpose:
economic and strategic. In fact, a condition for the financial
assistance for the NIS was that the company build a railway line to Ambarawa
, which had an important fort named Willem I
for the Dutch king. The first state railway line was built through the
mountains on the southern part of Java, instead of the flat regions on
the north, for a similar strategic reason. The state railway in Java
on the western coast of the island, to Banyuwangi
on the eastern coast.
, railways were first used for military purposes, with a railway line connecting Banda Aceh
and its port of Uleelhee
in 1876. The line, first built to a 1067 mm gauge was later regauged to
750 mm and extended south. This line was only transferred to the
Ministry of Colonies from the Ministry of War on January 1, 1916,
following the relative pacification
Other state railway lines in Sumatra were located in the Minangkabau area (built between 1891–1894) and the Lampung
-South Sumatra region (1914–1932). Both lines were mainly used for conveyance of coal
from inland mines
Another important private railway line was the Deli Spoorweg Maatschappij
(Deli Railway Company). This line served the important rubber
- and tobacco
-producing regions in Deli.
Between July 1922 and 1930, a 47 km-long railway line operated in South Sulawesi
. This line was to be extended to North Sulawesi, as part of a massive project of railway construction in Borneo
and Sulawesi, connection of separate railway systems in Sumatra and electrification
of the main lines in Java. The Great Depression
of 1929 put paid to these plans.
During the Japanese
occupation between 1942 and 1945, the different railway lines in Java
were managed as one entity. The Sumatra systems, being under the
administration of a different branch of the Japanese armed forces
, remained separate.
The occupiers also converted the standard gauge
(1,435 mm) lines in Java into 1,067 mm, thereby resolving the dual gauge
issue. This was not an actual "problem" as there was not much transfer
of materials between the systems, and much of the 1435 mm system had
been fitted with a third rail by 1940, creating a mixed-gauge railway.
During the war for independence between 1945 and 1949, freedom fighters
took over the railways, creating the first direct predecessor to today's PT Kereta Api, the Djawatan Kereta Api Repoeblik Indonesia
(Railway Bureau of the Republic of Indonesia), on September 28, 1945.
This date, not the 1867 one, is regarded as the birth date of Indonesian
railways and commemorated as Railway Day every year.
In Sumatra, the separate systems were similarly taken over, named Kereta Api Soematera Oetara Negara Repoeblik Indonesia
in North Sumatra and Kereta Api Negara Repoeblik Indonesia
in South and West Sumatra.
On the other hand, the Dutch created its own combined railway system to manage the lines located on its occupied
territory, the Verenigd Spoorwegbedrijf
(Combined Railways). By the time of Dutch recognition of Indonesian
independence, the VS had most railway lines under its management, though
not all were in operation.
With Indonesia's full independence in 1949, the separate systems (except the Deli Railway) were combined into the Djawatan Kereta Api
. Non-state railway systems in Java retained their paper existence until 1958, when all railway lines in Indonesia were nationalized
, including the Deli Railway, thereby creating the Perusahaan Negara Kereta Api
(PNKA: State Railway Corporation).
On September 15, 1971, PNKA was reorganised into Perusahaan Jawatan Kereta Api
(Railway Bureau Corporation), in turn reorganised into Perumka
(Perusahaan Umum Kereta Api
: Public Railway Corporation) on January 2, 1991. Perumka was transformed into PT Kereta Api (Persero)
on June 1, 1999.
of the state railway system, since Dutch colonial days, had been located in Bandung
, West Java. Private railway companies were headquartered elsewhere, in Semarang
The total number of trackage laid in Indonesia was 7583 km, although
not all lines were in operation at the same time. In 1939, the total
operational trackage was 4588 km (It is unclear whether dual gauge
tracks were counted once or twice). The present extent of the railways
is now 5042 km, with the Aceh system, most of the West Sumatra system
and most former steam tram lines disused, but including new tracks built
alongside old tracks (double tracking projects).
Much of the branch lines constructed in the colonial era has been
lifted up or abandoned in the 1980s. No major railway construction has
since taken place, however, many of the busiest lines have been double
tracked, and this is still ongoing. The northern coast area of Java
double-track would be completed in 2013 and then the government will
finish a 1,000-kilometer double-track on the south coast of Java by
Recently double-tracked lines include:
Double tracking is in progress between:
- Kiaracondong-Cicalengka, 22 kilometers
- Cirebon-Brebes, 62 kilometers will be fineshed at end of 2013
- Brebes-Pekalongan, 72 kilometers will be finished at end of 2011
- Pekalongan-Semarang, 90 kilometers will be finshed at end of 2013
- Semarang-Bojonegoro-Surabaya, 280 kilometers will be finished at end of 2013
- Purwokerto-Prupuk (for beginning, the double track until Patuguran, then continue until Prupuk)
- In 2012, a 270 kilometers double-track railway line will be built to accommodate coal transportation span from Lubuklinggau, Tebing Tinggi, Muara Enim, Prabumulih to Tanjung Api-Api Port.
Significant projects being considered include:
- Manggarai-Cikarang second double (double double) track line
- Airport line to the Sukarno-Hatta International Airport.
A 33 kilometers line from Manggarai, Dukuh Atas in Sudirman, Tanah
Abang, Angke, Pluit and inline with airport toll road to the Airport.
The cost will be $1.13 billion start at 2012 and complete at 2014.
- Rebuilding of the Aceh railway, with assistance from the French railway company
- By 2012, PT Kereta Api will built new track between Cibungur and
Tanjungrasa station with length 15 kilometers. This short cut will makes
trains from Bandung to Semarang v.v. do not need through Cikampek station.
Future expansion plans of the railway will include linking of existing railway lines in Sumatra from Aceh
via both west and east coasts of the island. Railway lines are also
planned to be built on the currently railwayless islands of Kalimantan
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to build railway around Bali
with length 565 kilometers.
Reactivate of dormant lines will be done by PT KA Daop II. For
beginning, reactivate Bandung-Ciwidey line to ease road traffic
congestion, reactivate Rancaekek-Tanjung Sari line to accommodate
students activities. 4 others dormant lines are still in consideration.