The train network though not the best or fastest can be quite a good alternative to taking bus in Indonesia.
Double-tracking have been done on most major congested lines and the effort is still ongoing. There are no sleeper trains in Indonesia. Generally tickets are available to be bought immediately, if not during peak holiday season, else it can always be reserved up to a month in advance.
Java has the best train railway network, connecting Jakarta in West Java to various other main cities like Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo, covering Central and East Java. If you want to get to Bali, you may take the train to Banyuwangi and then connect with ferries to the island. Traveling on train in Java can be one of the best choices if you are not in a hurry as the route is scenic, for example the train that climbs into the hills before Bandung are beautiful.
Indonesian government has launched the operation of the Krakatau Express Train lately that will connect Merak, on the western tip of Java, to Madiun in East Java.
With the new express train, people in Java will have more transportation options if they want to go to Sumatra and vice versa. This express train is also aimed at supporting the intermodal transportation system between Java and Sumatra, both of which are now connected with ferries.
The train will pass through 17 stations per trip such as Cilegon (Banten), Senen (Jakarta), Cirebon (West Java), Kutoarjo and Surakarta (Central Java) before arriving in Madiun.
The train will leave from Merak and Madiun at 8:45 a.m. and 8:40 a.m., respectively, each day.
The 790 mile trip from Jakarta’s main Gambir station to Yogyakarta takes around eight hours and is notably scenic. You can expect to glide past rice paddies, mountains and volcanoes through a largely rural setting where you’ll often encounter cows, sheep and waterfowl grazing near the tracks.
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