History of Indonesia

Rail transport in Indonesia
The platform of the first station of Nederlands-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (Dutch-Indies Railway Company) in Semarang.
1864 Jun 7

Rail transport in Indonesia

Semarang, Central Java, Indone

Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) is the second country in Asia to establish a rail transport, after India; China and Japan were next to follow. On 7 June 1864, Governor General Baron Sloet van den Beele initiated the first railway line in Indonesia on Kemijen village, Semarang, Central Java. It began operations on 10 August 1867 in Central Java and connected the first built Semarang station to Tanggung for 25 kilometers. By 21 May 1873, the line had connected to Solo, both in Central Java and was later extended to Yogyakarta. This line was operated by a private company, Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS or NISM) and used the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge gauge. Later construction by both private and state railway companies used the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge. The liberal Dutch government of the era was then reluctant to build its own railway, preferring to give a free rein to private enterprises.