Indonesia’s transportation ministry plans massive railway network for Nusantara

The ministry expects that some of the railway network could be operational after the year 2025.


Close look: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inspects the progress of a toll road that will lead to the new capital city of Nusantara in East Kalimantan on Feb. 22, 2023. (Presidential Secretariat's Press Bureau/Laily Rachev)

July 7, 2023

JAKARTA – The Transportation Ministry has unveiled a plan to build an extensive railway network that would connect Nusantara in East Kalimantan with major cities around the planned capital city.

The ministry’s Railways Director General Risal Wasal told a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday that the government would prioritize the development of three railway lines in 2024.

Risal said the ministry was currently conducting an environmental impact analysis for three railway lines that would connect Nusantara with East Kalimantan’s capital Balikpapan, with the Sepinggan Airport and one commuter line that would link downtown Balikpapan with the planned new capital’s administrative center.

“We’re also conducting an investigative survey for the opening of a trans-Kalimantan railway network and another network within East Kalimantan,” Risal told Commission V lawmakers overseeing transportation and infrastructure.

The ministry expects that some of the railway network could be operational after the year 2025.

In recent months, the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has unveiled designs for major infrastructure projects in Nusantara in an attempt to woo private investors to invest in the planned new capital.

In early June, President Jokowi ordered the construction of a VVIP airport at the site of Nusantara.

In a presidential regulation (Perpres) issued last month, the President has given authority to the Public Works and Housing Ministry to carry out the project, and has ordered the Transportation Ministry to be in charge of the airport’s operations.

“This VVIP airport is a special airport dedicated to government business in the IKN [Nusantara capital city],” the presidential regulation stipulates. 

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