The city program will offer a railway tour
that will take tourists on a trip from Gambir Railway Station in Central
Jakarta to the Tanjung Priok Station in North Jakarta.
the 40-minute maiden trip on Sunday, tourists are offered the
opportunity to catch a glimpse of slums and crowded neighborhoods built
by poor residents along the railway before arriving at the grand
building of Tanjung Priok Station, which was recently reconstructed to
bring back its architectural splendor.
Built in 1914 by the
Dutch colonial government, the station once served as a hotel and
warehouse. The state railway company PT KAI stopped operating the
station in 2001, but reopened it in 2009.
Tanjung Priok Station was opened on April 6, 1925, marking the first electric train service in the Dutch East Indies.
station, which was recently painted white and gray, has high ceilings
and sturdy iron frames that could easily bring tourists back in time
before traffic jams regularly choked Tanjung Priok, one of the country’s
busiest sea ports.
Other attractions include a bunker thought to be constructed by the Dutch colonial government between 1938 and 1940.
anticipation of tourists arriving at the station, the Jakarta Tourism
Agency has prepared a number of events, including native Jakartans
Betawi art performances such as gambang kromong and tanjidor, as well as
demonstration in making the traditional Betawi snack kerak telor. “For
now, the attraction is not yet available on a daily basis though,” City
Tourism and Cultural Agency head Arie Budiman said.
expected that the full-fledged service from the railway tourism package
could only be available for tourists in early December.
opened for tourists is a railway museum in which visitors could enjoy
sketches of old railway stations in Java as well as browsing information
from an interactive menu on desktop computers.
Arie said the
railway package was aimed at encouraging Jakarta residents to switch to
traveling by train. “We want to give proof that train travel can be
He said that the agency had worked with travel agents to
include the railway tour in their packages. “Twenty hotels and 80 travel
agents join our trip today to help us promote this program,” Arie said.
the trip, the agency invited more than 500 guests from train enthusiast
communities, foreign tourists, travel agents and students.
D. Haris, member of Edan Sepur (Crazy for Train), a train enthusiast
community, said that they could help the city administration in its
“We can help the city government promote
trains as an alternative means of traveling. Riding rains, even for
leisure purposes can help reduce traffic congestion in the city.”
some tourists, the trip was an eye-opening experience. “This is my
first trip on a train. Usually for my weekend trip, I was driven in my
family’s car,” said Faiza Kintan Maharani, a fifth grader from Yayasan
Tunas Jakasampurna elementary school in Bekasi.
governor for culture and tourism Suketi Martono said the administration
would seriously develop the railway tourism package. “It is better for
people to travel on trains rather than cars during the weekends. There
can be less traffic.” (lfr)