Freshly Launched, Whoosh High-Speed Train Encounters Several Incidents Already

President Jokowi next to Whoosh High-Speed Train (photo: radarcirebon)

Indonesia takes great pride in being home to Southeast Asia’s inaugural High-Speed Train, known as “Whoosh.” However, regrettably, this high-speed marvel, which was officially unveiled just a month ago in early October 2023, has encountered its share of mishaps. What are these incidents?

The fate of the high-speed wonder, “Whoosh,” seems to be intertwined with a series of occurrences that have, on several occasions, disrupted its operational efficiency. This past weekend, on Saturday (4/11/2023), Halim Station found itself dealing with a roof leak.

A viral video on social media vividly portrayed this leak, resembling a cascading waterfall, as it struggled to contain the deluge brought on by heavy rainfall. PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) duly assured the public that this incident did not interfere with the seamless operation of “Whoosh.” The overflowing water emanated from a drainage channel that had trouble handling the downpour’s exceptional intensity.

Eva clarified that the overflow of water occurred on the station’s stairwell, not within its confines. However, it was confined to the exterior on the south side of the arrival lobby. KCIC, in a proactive response, immediately engaged in direct coordination with PT Wijaya Karya (Persero) Tbk. (WIKA), the construction contractor for the High-Speed Train Station. They are committed to swiftly investigating and rectifying the affected areas, thereby ensuring passengers’ continued comfort.

Following this incident, Eva announced that KCIC, in collaboration with WIKA, will embark on a comprehensive inspection to identify potential areas of concern within all stations. This preemptive measure aims to forestall the recurrence of similar disruptions. These disturbances, which have disrupted High-Speed Train services, are not isolated occurrences.

In a previous instance, a group of 31 High-Speed Train passengers found themselves stranded at Padalarang Station due to the delayed arrival of the Feeder Train. The High-Speed Train places an unwavering emphasis on punctuality in its operations, boasting a near-100% departure punctuality rate.

Consequently, KCIC made an array of compensation options available to passengers who had missed the High-Speed Train due to the delay. Moreover, on Monday (10/23/2023), the High-Speed Train’s journey encountered a 20-minute delay.

In this case, KCIC disclosed that High-Speed Train WHOOSH, traveling on the Halim – Tegalluar route, briefly halted at 10:45 AM around KM 105. This pause resulted from a report received by the train operator, citing an unidentified individual who had scaled the noise barrier at KM 103, Cempaka Mekar Village, Padalarang, West Bandung Regency.

Subsequent investigations revealed the individual’s intent to pilfer cables along the tracks, leading to their classification as a suspect, despite initial suspicions of a suicide attempt.

To conclude, the High-Speed Train faced yet another incident when it abruptly came to a halt along the Batununggal area track in Kota Bandung. PT PLN (Persero) confirmed that a power outage in the region precipitated this event. The High-Speed Train remained stationary for over 15 minutes, commencing at approximately 10:30 AM on Tuesday (10/31/2023).

These disruptions had repercussions on the operation of the High-Speed Train Whoosh G1126, running the Tegalluar-Halim route, and G1123, servicing the Halim-Padalarang route. Additionally, various areas within the Bandung region were affected.

It is worth noting that this monumental transportation project carries an investment valuation of an impressive US$7.2 billion, equivalent to Rp112.2 trillion, underlining its significant impact and importance in the region.