Indonesia launches first high-speed railway with speeds of 215mph | News

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has launched Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway which started its commercial operations on Monday 2 October.

The rail is a key project under China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative that will cut travel time between two cities from the current three hours to about 40 minutes.

Some observers, however, doubt its commercial benefit as the project has been beset with delays and increasing costs.

In his opening remarks, Mr Widodo officially named Indonesia’s first high-speed railway – with speeds of up to 217 mph – as “Whoosh”.

The name is short for “Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal”, which translates to “Timesaving, Optimal Operation, Reliable System”.