Students from Ngamprah No.3 Junior High School show their tickets before getting on board a Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train in Padalarang Station in Padalarang, Indonesia, Oct. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
JAKARTA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) — Indonesian teenagers feel the charm of “China Speed” and light up their dreams for the future.
On Tuesday, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) Educational and Cultural Exchange Base brought a free class to the Ngamprah No.3 Junior High School in West Bandung Regency, West Java Province.
Chinese high-speed rail technical experts from China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Sifang Co., Ltd., the company which designed and manufactured Jakarta-Bandung HSR EMU trains, visited the school campus to give HSR science courses to local students, and led Indonesian teenagers to experience the immersive charm of “China Speed” on a running Jakarta-Bandung HSR EMU train.
Zhang Fangtao (L), chief designer of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains, lectures on the HSR science in the carriage of a running Jakarta-Bandung HSR EMU train in Indonesia, Oct. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
“Boys and girls, who can tell me why the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway trains can run so fast?” In the class, Zhang Fangtao, chief designer of Jakarta-Bandung HSR EMU trains, got a new identity as a science teacher who lectured on the HSR science.
In the classroom which is near to a traditional railway line and Jakarta-Bandung HSR’s Padalarang Station, the curious students listened carefully to their science teacher and actively raised their hands to answer questions.
The vibe in the 40 sq m classroom was lively with frequent interactions and Q&As between Zhang and students, punctuated by rounds of laughter and applause.
Saskia, a 15-year-old 9th grader, said, “Cutting the journey between Jakarta and Bandung from more than three hours to about 40 minutes is just cool, I do think high-speed train is a good choice for many people.”
The classroom teaching was followed by an on-site experience inside the carriage of a running EMU train from Jakarta-Bandung HSR’s Padalarang Station to Halim Station. The laughter of the teenagers and the shutter sound of their mobile phones filled the entire carriage of the fast moving train past fields, rivers, mountains, plains of Java Island.
Students attend a free class given by Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) Educational and Cultural Exchange Base in the carriage of a running Jakarta-Bandung HSR EMU train in Indonesia, Oct. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
Zhang, once again, lectured on the HSR science, but this time the classroom was moving, on a real high-speed train, only to find that he had to grab the teenagers’ attention from frequent exclamations and fleeting scenery outside the train window.
“After the commercial operation started last week, I finally had the opportunity to ride the high-speed train. During the free ride phase, my parents tried in vain to get a ticket for me,” said Rayi, 14, another 9th grader. “I learned a lot about HSR today in the class and on the train, and I can’t wait to be a business person in the future to travel by the high-speed train.”
Besides the lectures in and outside the classroom, CRRC Sifang has donated teaching materials including computers and sound systems to Ngamprah No.3 Junior High School.
The school is a small public school having hundreds of students and only a few classrooms used by students of Grade 7-9 on a rotating basis.
“I am very grateful to these Chinese companies for supporting the development of education in West Bandung. CRRC Sifang donates teaching materials to our school, which can help us to improve the quality of education,” said Mepi, head of the junior high school.
Students from Ngamprah No.3 Junior High School take photos and videos of a Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train on the platform of Padalarang Station in Padalarang, Indonesia, Oct. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
“The HSR lectures and experience helped broaden the students’ horizons, opening the door to a new world for our kids.”
Asep Wahyu, West Bandung Regency’s economy and development assistant, said, “It is really generous for CRRC Sifang to provide assistance to our local school. The teaching materials and the free class will help our students study better.”
“I heard that Chinese people would call their kids ‘flowers of the country’, and Indonesian people has a similar saying as calling our children ‘buds of the country’, be it flower or bud, they are the future, they are our hope,” Asep added.
The Jakarta-Bandung HSR is a “golden brand” of China-Indonesia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China. It is the first high-speed railway in Indonesia and Southeast Asia at large. CRRC Sifang, as a party of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR project, designs and manufactures high-speed EMU trains with a maximum operating speed of 350 km per hour for the railway.
Two students from Ngamprah No.3 Junior High School pose for photos with a model of Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) train in Halim Station in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Xu Qin)
“The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is not only a symbol of win-win cooperation between China and Indonesia, but also a connecting bridge to enhance the friendship between our two nations,” said Cao Rui, CRRC Sifang’s deputy general manager.
The Jakarta-Bandung HSR, jointly built by China and Indonesia, was officially put into commercial operation on Oct. 17.