One of the newest high-speed trains in the world was captured in a stunning video posted to YouTube.
The roughly two-minute video posted by Indo HSR showed the “Whoosh” train in Indonesia flying by with sounds resembling a TIE Fighter from Star Wars.
The train is the first high-speed railway in Southeast Asia and connects the city of Jakarta with Bandung, the capital of West Java province and a popular tourist destination.
With an operating speed of 220 mph, it cuts the travel time between the two cities from three hours to just 40 minutes, according to the Associated Press, all while making a distinctive sound.
It explains the name “Whoosh,” which stands for “Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal” in the Indonesian language and translates to “timesaving, optimal operation, reliable system.”
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The train officially began commercial operations in October after a lengthy construction project with multiple delays. Indonesia first broke ground on the project in 2016, and the railway was expected to begin operations in 2019.
However, the Associated Press noted that disputes over land acquisition, environmental issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused extensive delays, and the project’s cost ballooned from $4.3 billion to $7.3 billion.
Despite the major cost, the train’s environmental benefits are immeasurable. Its use of electrical energy will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions.
“The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train marks the modernization of our mass transportation, which is efficient and environmentally friendly,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said when the train began operations.
“Our courage to try new things gives us confidence and the opportunity to learn and will be very useful for the future, making our human resources more advanced and our nation more independent,” he continued.
Reactions to the train were polarizing, as some enjoyed the expedited travel time while others weren’t happy with the cost.
“I tried the [test] ride only because it was free,” a 28-year-old office worker in Bekasi told Nikkei Asia. “I will still prefer the shuttle or bus in terms of cost to go to Bandung directly.”
If the fare prices can be made competitive, though, the increased speed and simplicity of travel should make a difference, with environmental benefits just being a bonus.
“The ride was very enjoyable,” a 34-year-old office worker in Cikarang, near Jakarta, said to Nikkei Asia after joining a public test ride. “I have a lot of family and friends in Bandung, so I’m considering using the train frequently.”
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