Palembang LRT - A provincial transit success story

Sulawesi railway update, opposition mounts for Penang’s three-islands project, the tallest building in Southeast Asia tops out, and more construction and transport news in SE Asia.

Here at Future South East Asia I’ve been working my way through the planned urban rail systems of Southeast Asia. In particular I have been interested in the proposed provincial rail systems. Unfortunately, there are not many operating outside of the capital cities. The Phuket light rail was recently cancelled, and every other featured rail system is mired in doubt and delays.

Palembang stands out as an exception to the rest of Southeast Asia. The Palembang Light Rail Transit was built to serve the 2018 Asian Games, which the city co-hosted with Jakarta. Amazingly, it was operating within 18 days of the games opening, and built in a reasonable cost when compared to similar railways.

I visited Palembang in September 2019, and this week’s article has some photos of the light rail from that visit. I rode the railway at different times of the day to get a feel for it, and to see what is happening along the line. As this is the only planned line for the city, Palembang might end up having a long corridor of towers along the line. I would like to go back in the future and see how it changes the city. With the airport at one end, and a major shopping centre at one of the stops, you could end up living on the line like people live off the BTS lines in Bangkok.

While the ridership numbers are lower than projected, the fact that it was built on time and without a major budget blowout is at least a construction success story for Indonesia.

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Updated Posts


“Consortium including Chinese company targets commercial operations next year.”

"The Indonesian government put on hold the project on developing a new capital city in East Kalimantan and will not allocate budget for the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) in 2022."


"WE refer to MyHSR Corp chairman Tan Sri Esa Mohamed’s letter on May 19 on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Project ("HSR plans still on track",...)."

"The long-standing debate over the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) has seen a new push as political personalities from both sides have come together in asking for it to be axed, leaving the project’s owners, the state government, beleaguered."


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“President Jokowi tested the Jabodebek Light Rail Transit (LRT) with the route from Harjamukti Station, Cibubur, to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) Station. And his first comment looks satisfied.”

“The froth has spilled out of a canal in Marunda repeatedly over recent years, but the exact cause is unknown.”

“Court is due to rule on Thursday in case that aims to force government to take responsibility for Indonesian capital’s air, which regularly exceeds air quality limits.”

“Jakarta to soon have a construction that will symbolize tolerance and harmony of  religious communities in Indonesia. A pedestrian tunnel, dubbed as 'Terowongan Silaturahmi' or the 'Brotherhood Tunnel' that is currently being constructed, will connect two of Jakarta’s religious symbols, Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral.”


“Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) – two mega infrastructure projects – are set to significantly bolster the Lao government’s efforts to transform Laos into a logistics link and land-linked country within the region and beyond.”


“Upon completion in 2022, the tower will reach its full height of at least 644 metres and is set to be the tallest building in Southeast Asia,”.


“In a step toward Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade's dream of having cable cars in Metro Manila, the project is now up for the approval of a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) body.”


“With COVID-19 travel restrictions limiting the number of foreign workers coming to Singapore, CNA examines how this has implications for sectors other than construction and what a longer-term solution might be.”



“Vingroup carves a modern-day Venice into the island of Phu Quoc.”

And in case you missed it, I visited Phu Quoc just before this opened. Here is my Phu Quoc trip report.

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