THE INDONESIAN government announced on November 5 that it plans to invest 15·8bn rupiah in modernisation and upgrading of the national rail network, using a mix of public and private funds.

According to the Director-General of Rail Transport at the Ministry of Railways, Wendy Aritnang, much of the money will go on infrastructure, including track, signalling and bridges. Much of PT Kereta Api's rolling stock fleet is also in need of renewal, she added.

The government is planning to raise US$2bn through bond financing during 2008, towards an estimated US$140bn needed to renew much of the country's infrastructure. Public transport is seen as a high priority for investment, following a series of high-profile accidents across various modes.

On November 7 contractors double-tracking part of PTKA's South Line 'handed back' the station facilities at Yogyakarta following upgrading of the signalling. Invensys Rail Group is providing Westrace interlockings at nine stations on the newly-doubled section, and was responsible for modifying the Siemens MIS801 interlocking at Yogyakarta to suit the new track layout.