Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Skytrain: The New Inter-Terminal People Mover System Connecting Terminals 1, 2 and 3 To Airport Railway Station

The Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (SHIA) Skytrain is a new people mover system connecting all 3 passenger terminals for free, which were once only connected by an infrequent free shuttle bus, or in desperate situations, a taxi ride. The Skytrain also links the 3 terminals with the SHIA Airport Railway station, which is the terminal for the SHIA Railink to get you to downtown Jakarta.

Skytrain Interior

The Skytrain currently operates with 2 2-car train sets with a capacity of 176 people per train. The trains are built by state-owned company PT Len Industri (Persero) in cooperation with Woojin from South Korea, with the line operated directly under PT Angkasa Pura II. Once the line is fully ready, it will operate with 3 train sets.

For the first 6 months of operation, the trains will be operated manually with a set of crew.

The interior of the 2-car Woojin train set. One side of the train is fitted with seats, and the opposing area is a space for wheelchair-bound passengers, big luggage or just simply standing passengers.

Each train car has 9 seats – 5 on the main row in the centre and a pair of 2 seats by the gangway.

The handgrips on board are distinctively South Korean.

The route map on board the train, denoting the travel time through the line. However, it seems that this timing does not take into account stops at stations, and you probably need to add 1 minute for every station you pass through when heading to your destination.

An LCD screen featuring advertisements on board.

Despite not being operated under PT Kereta Api Indonesia, the main operator of railways in Indonesia, the numbering of the train sets follow the same order. So for this case of the number being K1 1 17-05

K1: Class 1/First Class
1: Car with own motive power
17: Manufactured in 2017
05: Car number

SHIA Terminal 2 to SHIA Airport Railway Station

Terminal 2 is where most international flights land in SHIA, including Singapore Airlines.

Once out of the baggage reclaim area, head straight to the temporary-looking shelter across the road.

The Skytrain station is up ahead.

However, the entrance on the terminal side isn’t ready, so you have to access it from the car park side.

Get on the escalator up to the platform.

The Skytrain system currently operates on two bi-directional single tracks. Each train operates on its own track, with the points at the ends of the line currently not in operation. As such, trains on either platform may head to either destination. Listen out for the staff calling out the train’s destination or watch which direction the train is travelling in.

The view of SHIA Airport Railway Station from Terminal 2 Station.

On board the Skytrain. A minimum of two crew is needed to man the train – one to drive it and another to make manual announcements and communicate with possibly the operations control centre. I suspect it’s because the Skytrain does not operate with any signalling yet, hence the arrangement for the bi-directional single track and the staff having to inform the operations control centre at the precise time of every departure and arrival of the train and even whether the doors are closed or not.

Announcing the impending arrival of the train at the SHIA Airport Railway Station.

As all stations have island platforms and the train only opens the doors on one side, the protective tape for the buttons on the side which is not opened is still not removed.

Follow the signs to the SHIA Airport Railway Station to hop on board the SHIA Railink to BNI City (Sudirman Baru), in the heart of Jakarta’s business district.

The overview of the SHIA Skytrain alignment.

SHIA Airport Railway Station to SHIA Terminal 1

Continuing onwards to Terminal 1, a maintenance facility can be seen under construction.

The unused points leading to the maintenance facility and the crossovers before approaching Terminal 1.

Approaching Terminal 1 Station.

The buffer stop at Terminal 1, with cables strewn around the area. Hmm…

SHIA Terminal 1 to SHIA Airport Railway Station

From Terminal 1, another staff does the communications with the operations control centre, one does the announcements and one drives the train.

Question: How many people does it take to drive a supposedly driverless train?
Answer: 3.

SHIA Airport Railway Station to SHIA Terminal 2

The facade of the SHIA Airport Railway Station.

Heading on to Terminal 2.

The opposing Skytrain on the other track heading for Terminal 2 as well, from Terminal 3.

Approaching Terminal 2 Station.

SHIA Terminal 2 to SHIA Terminal 3

The stretch from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 is the longest, due to the new Terminal 3 not within the same cluster as Terminals 1 and 2.

The opposing Skytrain heading off to SHIA Airport Railway Station and Terminal 1.

The long stretch to Terminal 3.

Approaching Terminal 3.

Passing over the unused crossovers.

Arriving at the platforms of Terminal 3 Station. The main user of Terminal 3 currently is Garuda Indonesia, however, all international flights are expected to move to Terminal 3 by June 2018.

A stray vehicle on the tracks at the overrun towards the buffer stop. Hmm…

The schedule for this outer-track train on the driving console. The journey time on schedule can be deduced as follows:

Terminal 1 to Airport Railway Station: 3 minutes
Stop at Airport Railway Station: 1 minute
Airport Railway Station to Terminal 2: 2 minutes
Stop at Terminal 2: 1 minute
Terminal 2 to Terminal 3: 5 minutes
Stop at Terminal 3: 1 minute
Terminal 3 to Terminal 2: 5 minutes
Stop at Terminal 2: 1 minute
Terminal 2 to Airport Railway Station: 2 minutes
Stop at Airport Railway Station: 1 minute
Airport Railway Station to Terminal 1: 3 minutes
Stop at Terminal 1: 1 minute

Total journey time for each loop: 13 minutes
Average frequency for each direction with 2 trains: 6.5 minutes

Overall, the Skytrain’s opening, while necessary, feels incomplete and inconvenient with entrances to the station from the Terminal not ready, the system possibly operating without a signalling system (thus trains have to be driven manually on bi-directional single tracks) and without proper signages to the station from the terminal building at Terminals 1 and 2. Yes, it is a great improvement from free shuttle buses but it’s not close to being fully operational yet.

It is necessary to take the Skytrain to the Airport Railway Station, however, at a 6.5 minute frequency with no information at the platform on how long more your train will arrive on which track, it adds a bit more stress to travelling to and from the airport. Not to mention the additional travel time needed to get to the Airport Railway Station which you need to factor into the total journey time to and from the city.

Overall, an improvement in the connectivity around SHIA, but there’s definitely more room for improvement. When the next phase of the line opens with 3 trains running on it fully automated (and thus at 4-minute frequencies), I’ll give it another review.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.