Cikampek - Purwakarta - Bandung

Railway transportation from Jakarta – Bandung via Bogor (Buitenzorg) and Sukabumi gradually open between 1881 – 1884 by Staats Spoorwegen (SS) Railway Company. Train transportation existence stimulates social mobility, communication and trading between Jakarta (Batavia) city with Bandung city.

Private railway company Bataviasche Ooster-Spoorweg Maatschappij (BOS) which later on interested to invest railway development in Jakarta (Batavia), especially in East Jakarta (Batavia) which is Jakarta – Karawang line. In 1887, Jakarta (Batavia – Bekasi ine with 27 km is completed build and continuing with Bekasi – Kedungede line which complete in 1891. Like NIS (Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg maatschappij) story, BOS also have financial problem. Netherland East Indies government finally provide assistance fund to BOS to finish the railway line until Karawang and completed in 1898. Because of railway line Jakarta – Bandung via Bogor and Sukabumi is not accomadate enough, Staats Spoorwegen (SS) Railway Company build an alternative route via Karawang, Cikampek and Purwakarta which start by the end of 1900’s. Second railway line Jakarta – Bandung via Cikampek and Purwakarta open on 2 May 1906. Benefit using Cikampek – Purwakarta line is time traveling Jakarta – Bandung route become shorter rather than via Bogor - Sukabumi. Jakarta – Cikampek has 81 km length, Cikampek – Purwakarta has 19 km length and Purwakarta – Bandung has 56 km length.

Railway development from Purwakarta – Bandung is not running smoothly. This is because South area of West Java has very sheer montane, valley or river. In this lane, there is  Cikubang bridge (300 meters length) which is the longest train bridge in Indonesia and Cisomang bridge which is the highest bridge in Indonesia with almost 100 meters high from bottom Cisomang River. There is also Sasaksaat tunnel that has 950 meters length.

Jakarta – Bandung railway line via Cikampek and Purwakarta become favorite in Netherland East Indies era because its beautiful landscape and cool weather. Railway lane is snaking between hills. Good panorama with trees row, emerging hills, paddy field terrace and river that spoil trains passenger.

Hilly Soil contour and valley make train journey become efficient transportation at that time to passenger and commodity transportation like quinine and tea crop from Bandung to Jakarta.

Cannot be denied, Jakarta – Bandung railway line are make some portion that change social and economic life in Bandung city at that time. In the train glory era, hotel, cafe and shops are build. Preanger Hotel and Savoy Homann are remnant from Jakarta – Bandung railway route train glory, including European building shape in Braga complex.

  Copyright © 2010 - Conservation and Heritage Center, Indonesian Railways
Photo's Courtesy KITLV, The Netherlands