Surbana Jurong among firms signed up to design Indonesia bullet train corridor

This handout photo released by the Presidential Palace shows Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2nd L) attending a groundbreaking ceremony of the country's first high-speed railway in Bandung on January 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP
This handout photo released by the Presidential Palace shows Indonesian President Joko Widodo (2nd L) attending a groundbreaking ceremony of the country's first high-speed railway in Bandung on January 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Surbana Jurong will be among the global consultancy firms signed up to help design the transit development along the US$5.6 billion rail network, Indonesia's first ever bullet train project which broke ground on Thursday.

Surbana, along with W.S Atkins and Aedas will work with a consortium headed by state-owned construction company Wijaya Karya to develop commercial properties along the railway corridor along the Jakarta-Bandung rail line, Jakarta Globe has reported.

The master plan has been dubbed Walini.

Surbana Jurong group chief executive Mr Wong Heang Fine said they were delighted to work on this project which is spread over a site of approximately 3,000 hectares.

"The vision for Walini is to become a future transit city of Indonesia. We believe this would create good opportunities for the people living in the area," Mr Wong told The Straits Times.

The Jakarta-Bandung railway will stretch 142 kilometers from Halim in East Jakarta to Tegalluar, 13 kilometers southeast of downtown Bandung.

Construction of the line is expected to finish by 2018, and it should be operational the following year.

Indonesia lacks a mass-transport system, forcing its increasingly affluent 250 million people to rely heavily on private transport, resulting in grinding traffic in the biggest cities.

Jakarta had asked for proposals from investors for the ambitious project which went to China after a chaotic bidding process.

China Railway International is part of the consortium of firms, led by Wijaya, to work on the project call KCIC (Kereta Cepat Indonesia Cina).

When complete, the bullet train should in theory be able to travel up to 350 kilometres an hour between the sprawling capital Jakarta and the mountain-fringed city of Bandung, about 160 kilometres away.

It is a key project for President Joko Widodo, who has pledged to overhaul the archipelago's rickety infrastructure in a bid to attract investors.