Tue, 14 May 2002

KAI stops operation of diesel trains

BANDUNG, West Java: Thousands of passengers in Bandung, West Java were stranded on Monday when PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) aborted five morning train routes after two of its diesel trains developed engine trouble.

The routes affected were Bandung to Cicalengka, Rancaekek to Bandung and Cicalengka to Bandung from 4:45 a.m. to 7:05 a.m.

"We did not repair the engines on the diesel trains that developed engine trouble last week, and now a similar incident has happened again," KAI public relations officer Akhmad Sujadi said on Monday.

Akhmad said his office had failed to repair the engines due to a scarcity of spare parts.

"Japan as a diesel train producer does not manufacture spare parts anymore. So it is impossible to repair them," he said.

He said his office had sent five diesel train cars to a repair shop in Yogyakarta, but that move proved unsuccessful.

"Only two cars were returned, but without the engine," Ahmad said.

Ahmad said that under normal conditions a diesel train with five cars could carry between 400 and 500 passengers.

"But the passenger load increases to 300 percent during morning and evening peak hours," he said. --JP