Train travel has long been one of the most popular ways for tourists, both local and international, to get around the island of Java. But with more and more travel options, including cheap budget airline flights, the country’s state-owned train company is rolling out new luxury options to entice travelers to ride the rails in style.
PT Kereta Api Indonesia recently opened to the public tickets to their Kereta Wisata Priority (Priority Tour Train) carriages, which were previously only available to tour groups that reserved the whole carriage. According to KAI, it’s also the kind of carriage President Joko Widodo uses when he rides the trains.
“The president’s family and guests of the state usually use a carriage with these same facilities as these, so the class is the same, equivalent (to presidential class),” Totok Suryono, president director of PT KA Wisata Priority, during a press conference for the launch on Friday.
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The most obvious upgrades in the priority class carriage are the plush spacious seats, which each come equipped with their own video-on-demand screens. No wifi though, unfortunately.
While the executive carriages (the next highest class) seat 50 people, the extra room and facilities in the priority carriage means it can only seat 30. The wood-paneled interior and carpeted floors also give it a touch of old-world elegance.
Tickets include an in-train meal, which is served by the attendants airplane-style (you can pick from one of two choices) during the journey. There’s also a mini-bar in the carriage which, alas, doesn’t serve alcohol, but you can help yourself to water, coffee and tea.
The bathroom is a good bit more spacious than your typical train toilet and the marketing materials emphasized that it’s cleaned regularly throughout the journey.
So is it worth it? Well, tickets for the priority carriage cost Rp 750,000 for the 8-hour journey from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. By comparison, a seat in the executive carriage on the same train can cost up to Rp 450,000 while a business seat can cost you up to around Rp 270,000.
Currently, priority train carriages are only available on certain trains departing every Friday from Jakarta going to Yogyakarta and Solo and on Sunday from Yogyakarta and Solo going to Jakarta. PT KAI said they might expand the number of routes priority class is available on depending on public interest.
Priority tickets can already be purchased through travel websites such as Bibli.com.