Indonesia’s $6bn Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway was said to be 63.9% complete this month after its fifth tunnel, 1.88km in length, was bored through on 15 December, reports The Jakarta Post.
The 142.3km railway, financed by China and with construction led by China Railway Engineering Corporation, will carry people from the capital to Bandung in West Java province at 350km/h in around 40 minutes.
After a fierce bidding war for the project between China and Japan, which China won, construction began in 2016.
After a number of delays, including a stoppage owing to the coronavirus, the railway is scheduled to begin operating in the second half of 2021, the Post reported.
There are 13 tunnels and sub-grade sections on the railway, and some 80km of it runs on elevated structures (pictured), says PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC), the joint venture of Chinese and Indonesian state companies responsible for the line.
The breakthrough of No. 1 Tunnel, as it is called, drew praise from Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission.
In a video address to the ceremony, Ning called the railway a landmark project under the Belt and Road Initiative, reports Xinhua.
Tunnels number 5, 3 and 7 have also been completed this year.