Gone are the days when going places in Papua is a huge hassle. This year, the construction of West Papua Railway will be commenced. This project is hopefully going to be the solution for better access and transportation in Papua. With a very large potential for natural resources and endless possibilities for economic advancement, the means to start maximizing Papua is finally coming true. Roads are being build further, ports are being opened, and now the Trans Papua Railway.
The railway system has always been a very important aspect in any nation’s growth, especially for a large scale development. The railway network in this matter, West Papua, will be able to immensely improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the distribution of mining, agricultural, and plantation commodities. These potentials are great pillars to support the regional economy. With the existence of a railway network, West Papuan resources and products can be distributed faster and at relatively low costs. This is why the Trans Papua Railway is essential for Papua.
Therefore, it is such good news that according to local Transportation and Communication Department spokesman, Bambang Heriawan Soesanto, the master plan of the West Papua Railway project has been completed in 2015. The consulting and technical teams from the West Papua Department of Transportation and Communication had been on the field to survey, assess, and seek inputs on the districts and cities that will be covered by the railway network. The railway project will connect Sorong and Manokwari with the span of 150 KM.
Ministry of Transportation (MoT) alone in the past year has budgeted 6 billion IDR to conduct a feasibility study on the project. In this study, Papua rail network development projects are divided into two tracks. Each track has the same range, which is 75km. Sugiadi Waluyo, Director of Traffic and Railways of Ministry of Transportation targets the Detail Engineering Detail (DED) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be conducted after the feasibility study is completed. MoT is targeting the construction of Papua railway to start in September or October of 2016.
Trans Papua train is a part of the 29 transportation infrastructure projects for land, sea, air and railways that will be conducted in 2016. MoT explains there are 10 projects related to marine transport, eight projects for land transport, and six air transport projects. Additionally, there are five railway projects which are entirely done using the MoT’s budget.