Despite a number of delays, the high-speed “Whoosh” bullet train has now launched in Indonesia, providing carbon-pollution-free travel from Jakarta to Bandung.
According to Reuters, the project cost more than $7 billion, and it stretches just over 88 miles between the country’s capital and another of its biggest cities.
The Whoosh project was scheduled to launch in 2019 but faced delays due to funding problems and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but passengers can now get between Jakarta and Bandung in less than an hour while traveling at speeds of up to 217 miles per hour, according to CNN, citing local officials.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the $7.3 billion bullet train named 'Whoosh' connecting the country's capital Jakarta with the city of Bandung https://t.co/jtIyu1baeupic.twitter.com/Cuw0sQ7lrp
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 2, 2023
As Indonesia President Joko Widodo said upon the Whoosh’s launch, per Reuters, “The name is inspired by the sound of a rushing high-speed train,” and he praised the environmentally friendly nature of the mass transportation system.
The development has been delivered with assistance from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was initially intended to link East Asia to Europe, as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) observed.
However, the BRI project has now extended worldwide, with China signing infrastructure deals in 147 countries.
It is hoped the BRI will increase China’s ability to trade globally, bringing a “new Silk Road,” per the CFR.
While the electrically powered public transport is kinder to the planet than dirty-fuel emitting alternatives, the Whoosh also has responsibilities for the impact of natural disasters and extreme weather conditions brought as a result of global heating.
CNN reported the trains have been equipped with a safety system to deal with emergency conditions such as earthquakes and floods, while they can also handle the country’s tropical climate.
As the latest figures available on Our World In Data revealed, sourcing information from the Global Carbon Budget, Indonesia was responsible for around 683 million tons of planet-warming carbon pollution in 2021, which is below its 2019 peak of around 728 million tons.
Progress is seemingly being made on reducing planet-warming pollution in the country, and the clean-energy-powered bullet train will only help further reduce pollution.
There are also proposals to extend the line to Semarang and Yogyakarta, as PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China director Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi told the Chinese press in September, per CNN, which would provide even more sustainable travel options throughout the country.
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