The Argo Parahyangan is a very popular cluster of train services running on the Jakarta Gambir – Bandung route with 8 pairs of regular services daily. Most Argo Parahyangan services operate with both Eksekutif Class and Ekonomi New Image coaches on each train, though some operate with Eksekutif Class coaches only, or with the new Premium Class coaches for the additional Argo Parahyangan Premium services.
The afternoon train, Argo Parahyangan 25, departs Bandung at 2.45pm and gets into Jakarta Gambir station at 6.03pm, just after the sunset.
The Check-In Counter (CIC) for long-distance trains in the old Bandung station is located just before the entrance to the platform at Door 2.
I got my ticket through Tiket.com as usual, since PT KAI’s website does not accept foreign credit cards. If you have your Tiket.com printout, scan the code located on the top right hand corner of the printout, or key the 6-character PNR code on the on-screen keyboard with the mouse provided. (Unfortunately, there is no touch-screen at Bandung.)
Click on “Print” to print your boarding pass.
My boarding pass for the Argo Parahyangan 25 journey back to Jakarta Gambir.
As Seat 5D is only available on the highest fare class, I paid the full fare of Rp.125,000 for my ticket.
At Door 2 before entering the platform area to board the train, provide your identification documents (for the case of foreigners, your passport) to the staff who will verify your identity before letting you through.
The staff will let you know of which track the train is departing from, but if that fails or you misheard it, just look out for the signboard placed in front of the train when crossing the tracks.
The exterior of the Eksekutif Class coaches, currently decked out with Jakarta Palembang 2018 advertisements promoting the 2018 Asian Games which will be held in Jakarta and Palembang.
The interior of the Eksekutif Class coaches on board the Argo Parahyangan 25.
My seat, 5D, with the full window view on the right side of the train. I had wanted 7D which was in the exact middle of the coach but it was sold out across all 4 coaches.
The mixed-review single seat at the end of the saloon by the borders.
On board the old Eksekutif Class coaches, only squat toilets are available. Two toilets are available per coach, one on each end.
The familiar start of the KATV programming as the train departs.
Accompanying the automated welcome announcements is the safety video for a smooth train journey.
Unfortunately, the windows on the old Eksekutif Class coaches are all tinted, so it didn’t make for very nice pictures.
Passing through the Sasaksaat Tunnel.
Exiting from the Sasaksaat Tunnel.
The route map of the Argo Parahyangan.
Time for lunch/dinner/lunner(?) at the dining car or Kereta Makan.
Unfortunately, this MP3 or Kelas 3 Kereta Makan dan Pembangkit, or Class 3 Dining and Power Car, is even smaller than the one on the Argo Parahyangan Premium, and only 2 tables are available to sit at.
The Reska menu of the food available on board.
The Zuppa-Zuppa (Rp.20,000 (~S$1.85)) is a cream soup with a puff pastry on top.
Unfortunately the puff seems undercooked and the soup had pretty much the same colour and consistency of Lao Ban (老伴) Soya Beancurd. Avoid ordering this.
Here’s the Nasi Goreng Parahyangan (Rp.33,000 (~S$3.06)) again, with a shot of the packaged foodstuff as it is. Tastes reasonably fine but not anything memorable.
And surprisingly, the Bistik (Beef Steak) (Rp.45,000 (~S$4.17)) was available on the Argo Parahyangan 25, something which I’ve never had before from Reska.
The Bistik looks more impressive when the box is first opened as compared to the rice dishes, although the black pepper sauce packet still sticks out like a sore thumb. The steak part of things turned out to be a hamburger patty (minced meat) instead, but at least it’s a new Reska taste for me. In my opinion, this is potentially the best dish available on board.
Merging back to the line from Cirebon to Jakarta at Cikampek.
Making a short stop at Bekasi. If you are changing to the KRL Bekasi Line for stations between Klender and Cikarang, you should alight here.
After some passengers have alighted at Bekasi, it’s time for me to explore the Ekonomi New Image coach. Similar to the Premium Class, the Ekonomi New Image coach seats 80 passengers.
The seat pitch on the Ekonomi New Image coach is exactly the same as Premium Class coaches, minus the reclining function on each seat.
And since the seats don’t recline, cup holders are available in front of each seat on the Ekonomi New Image coach. You can’t have that on Premium Class unless you want Teh Tarik on the floor when the person in front of you suddenly reclines.
The legroom available on board the Ekonomi New Image coach.
The view from “my seat” on the Ekonomi New Image coach.
Just like the Premium Class coach, two types of toilets are available: the Western sit-down type and the Asian squat type. One of each is available on each end of the coach.
Comparing the Ekonomi New Image coach to the Premium Class, I do personally prefer the Ekonomi New Image due to the fact that the seat does not recline.
Okay, sounds weird but hear me out.
The Ekonomi New Image seat has a similar seat pitch and width as compared with an Economy Class seat on a plane. If you have sat on such a plane seat before (which is almost everyone nowadays because Now Everyone Can Fly), you’d know how it feels like when the person in front of you reclines, especially when on budget airlines. Sure, I can recline my seat into the person’s space behind me as well , but I would be a bit self-conscious when I do that. Guess that’s the little bit of Japanese habit in me in which I would check behind my seat before reclining. So having a seat that does not recline saves me the guilt of reclining into someone else’s space, the convenience of not having anyone being able to recline their seat into my knees and face, and a Rp.10,000 fare saving should I decide to ride on Ekonomi Class instead of Premium Class. The seats on the old 106-seater Ekonomi AC coaches definitely do not recline and I’m used to those classic coaches, so this Ekonomi New Image seat is already an upgrade anyway.
The Argo Parahyangan 25 arrived right on time at Jakarta Gambir station at 6.03pm. Here are shots of the almost-empty coach since there’s no opportunities at Bandung or on the way to Jakarta with the full-booked train.
The rake will form the Argo Parahyangan 28 which will depart back to Bandung at 6.45pm.
If connecting to the TransJakarta busway, head for the North Exit at Gambir station. No KRL services call at Gambir – you have to take the busway to Juanda station to continue onwards via KRL.
Follow the “Exit” signs so that you don’t clash with those entering the departure area.
Follow the car park exit out to Gambir 1 Halt of the TransJakarta busway.
Gambir 1 Halt of the TransJakarta busway is up ahead.
Enter the fare gates with your prepaid card, or purchase one from the ticket counter. Cash is not accepted on TransJakarta services.
Board Corridor 2 or 2A to get to Juanda station to change to the KRL or to Harmoni Central Busway for other key TransJakarta services.
Overall, the new mix of Eksekutif Class and Ekonomi New Image coaches on typical Argo Parahyangan train sets are, in my opinion, a perfect combination for a short-haul journey.
While not as comfortable as the brand new K10 bogie Eksekutif Class coaches on the Gajayana and Bima, the old Eksekutif Class has sufficient space all around and a wide footrest (though the tinted windows are not to my liking).
The Ekonomi New Image coaches are, though a downgrade in seat pitch from the previous Bisnis Class on service, improved with modern facilities such as the same KATV programming as Eksekutif Class and a western sit-down type toilet, and also provides for a fare “discount” because of the different class of travel, making journeys on the Argo Parahyangan slightly more affordable now for those who are price-sensitive.
PT KAI Train Ticket Booking Methods
For Eksekutif, Bisnis and Ekonomi AC only. All other tickets are only sold at stations where the train serves.
- PT KAI counters
- Online from PT KAI‘s ticketing website but foreign credit cards do not work
- Online from Tiket.com – foreign credit cards accepted
Tickets are open for sale 30 to 90 days before departure, depending on train service.
- Klook (Get FREE $4.30*/RM12.90* voucher for your first purchase when you sign up here! *subject to exchange rate)