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Friday, June 14, 2019

Sasaksaat Railway Tunnel: The Longest and Active in Indonesia

terowongan sasaksaat

Sasaksaat Railway Tunnel: The Longest and Active in Indonesia

When taking the Argo Parahyangan train from Bandung to Gambir or vice versa, we certainly know about the existence of the Sasaksaat Tunnel. 

This tunnel connects the railway line between Bandung and Purwakarta which divides the Cidepong hills in Sasaksaat Village, Sumurbandung Village, Cipatat District, West Bandung Regency.

The tunnel is about 949 meters long with 35 slekoers consisting of 17 on the left and 18 on the right from the Sasaksaat station. This tunnel was built by compulsory laborers on the orders of the Dutch colonial forces from 1902 to 1903.

terowongan sasaksaat

I started down this tunnel because of interesting on train as transportation. It will be interesting if I have the opportunity to be able to navigate along this tunnel. Together with my friend who is also a railfans, I started heading to Sasaksaat Station that afternoon.

However, to be able to enter this tunnel we need to get permission from the JPTw (Tunnel Checker) to avoid unwanted things and before entering this tunnel we also need to know the train journey that will cross into the Sasaksaat Tunnel, considering the Bandung - Purwakarta route is a pathway the train is quite dense with train passing by every day.

terowongan sasaksaat
We told quite a lot about this tunnel and what was inspected during the trekking with the JPTw crew when entering this tunnel. The checks are many but I cannot mention in detail, but the most important thing is the inspection of rail conditions in the tunnel by JPTw and waterways. 

Regarding the waterways in the Sasaksaat Tunnel, what exactly was examined? apparently the officer explained to us that to ensure the waterways were not blocked by rubbish which caused flooding.

If there is a flood, it could be ballast rocks in the tunnel carried by the water or the foundation of the rail is eroded by water which can cause collapse and impact on train travel.

I wonder where the rubbish came from, sometimes I see the rubbish like it's not coming from the surrounding community because the rubbish is like a used food container that I usually buy on a train. 

Obviously this makes me picky at the same time contribute at the same time remembering enough understanding about the task of JPTw with a myriad of risks that always check this tunnel every day for the safety of passengers and train travel.

Never thought how dark it was in there. Because whoever understands wherever we are must maintain an attitude. But that occurred in my mind.

Dark inside the tunnel, even though there are lights that have been installed in it, but the lights are not always on can be said when needed. Then the inspection is carried out with just a flashlight just in case if the lights go out when going back to the post. 

Exploration of the Sasaksaat tunnel this time made me learn that there is history in it and there are officers who make sacrifices so that the condition of the tunnel remains safe and the train journey remains safe to its destination.

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