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Indonesia launches Southeast Asia's first high-speed train

KUALA LAMBUR, Oct 2 (KUNA) -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched on Monday Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway, which was a delayed multibillion-dollar project backed by China.
During the launching ceremony held at the central station in Jakarta, President Widodo hailed the project as "a symbol of our modernization".
With a top speed of 350 kilometers (220 miles) per hour, the bullet train "Whoosh" can get between the capital Jakarta and Bandung in 45 minutes, the 140 km journey would previously have taken about three hours by train, he added.
The name "Whoosh" was actually an acronym, standing for a tagline of "Saving time, optimal operation, and reliable system", the President noted.
Widodo said the 600-capacity train was the first high-speed rail transportation in Southeast Asia.
It was built by PT KCIC, which is made up of four Indonesian state companies and Beijing's China Railway International Co.
The project was initially set to cost less than USD 5 billion and be completed by 2019, however, delays caused by construction challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in costs.(end) aab.nhq