PT KAI, the state railway of Indonesia, has taken on loans totalling $US 448m from China Development Bank (CDB) to help pay for a cost overrun incurred by the construction of the country’s first high-speed train line, known as Whoosh, which opened in October.

Two loan agreements were confirmed on February 7, the first for $US 231m and the second for $US 217m, at interest rates of between 3.7 and 3.8%.

Originally costed at $US 6.07bn, the project to build a 42.3km high-speed line linking Jakarta and Bandung with a maximum speed of 350km/h has actually cost nearly $US 2bn more due to technical issues, the unstable nature of civil works and land acquisition difficulties.

The line was constructed by PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China (KCIC), a 60:40 Indonesian-Chinese consortium of state-owned Indonesian companies and China Railway Engineering and other Chinese companies. The line has entirely adopted Chinese railway equipment, the first time China has exported all the technology for an international high-speed project.

Whoosh services are operated with 12 eight-car CR400AF Yawan high-speed trains supplied by CRRC.