The Railway Development in West Papua has been planned and pioneered since the President Jokowi administration. Due to its importance for West papua development, although the railway development progress is halted upon a current land acquisition delay, it is still pushed forward.
The government of Indonesia has targeted the relization of the railway groundbreaking on 2017. The Vice Governor of West Papua, Irene Manibuy is optimistic that the project groundbreaking would be in Sorong. The Head Division of West papua Land Transportation, Harold Jan Umpain has conveyed that his department is already preparing for the land for the railway project.
The central government, through the Ministry of Transportation will fully fund the project with the State Budget, whether the land acquisition and the railway construction. While the land acquisition is on going, the Directorate General of Railway with the consultants are finishing the Detail Engineering Design (DED) of all the West Papua railways. The DED it self is already in the finishing phase.
This railway development which include West Papua should be completed in 2019 and it will reach 3.258 km long in total, all over Indonesia. The development it self has been started in Kalimantan and Sulawesi.
The main route of West Papua railway would cover Sorong, Sorong Regency, South Sorong, Maybrat, Bintuni Gulf, South Manokwari and Manokwari. The main route would connect Sorong City and Manokwari.
Overall, the Manokwari-Sorong route would span 390 km in total. In West Papua, the development would be divided in three stages, which are the Sorong-Ayamaru route, Manokwari-Bintuni Gulf route, and Bintuni Gulf-Ayamaru route that would be developed lastly. The decision was made due to the challenging topography of Bintuni Gulf-Ayamaru route which is mountainous. The first and second development stage would be conducted from 2015 to 2019.
The railway it self would have great advantages, suited for West Papua. The program that is being managed by the Ministry of Transportation of West Papua Province would be conducted under the network development, safety development, human resource development, technology development, and investment development.
The Director General of the Ministry of Transportation, Hermanto Dwi Atmoko explained that the train that is being developed for West Papua would have the speed of 250 kilometer per hour. It is faster than the trains that operate in Java and Sumatera. Moreover, in the joint meeting of the Vice Governor of West papua, Irene Manibuy, and the Local Transportation Agency, it was stated that the trains for West papua would also be more capable to unload heavy weights.