ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Publication Date : 11-03-2013
The Surakarta city relaunched the Jaladara vintage train service for tourists on Sunday
The Jaladara train in Indonesia's Surakarta City consists of a German C-1218 steam locomotive made in 1893 and two Dutch passenger coaches, a TR 144 and TR 16, made from teak in 1909.
Locally known as the 'Sepur Kluthuk Jaladara', the train can carry up to 80 passengers.
The tourism icon was first launched by former Surakarta mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Sept. 27, 2009, on a three-year contract.
“It was not easy for Jokowi to introduce the Jaladara. That is why we want to retain it as one of the city’s tourism icons,” Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo said.
The train service is now running on a yearly contract worth 721 million rupiah (US$77,445) per year based on 86 trips.
Hadi said that operating the train was not easy as it could only make a maximum of eight trips per month due to its age.
The city administration has set a package price of 3.5 million rupiah per trip, although the rental cost is 8 million rupiah.
Meanwhile, state-owned railway operator PT KAI’s president director, Ignasius Jonan, said he was surprised when the Surakarta administration expressed an interest in renting the heritage train.
He said it was a challenge to operate the train, which needs four cubic metres of wood for the 6-kilometre trip from Purwosari train station to Sangkrah station.
“We provided support to help transport the train to Surakarta,” he said.
The city administration is planning to subsidise the cost of tickets from 50,000 to 20,000 rupiah per passenger so that Surakarta residents can take the train.
“The Jaladara should be not only an icon for tourists but it should also be available for local residents,” Yosca Herman Soedrajad, head of Surakarta’s Transportation, Communications and Information Agency, said.