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. To meet the growing capacity demands, the Argo Parahyangan Premium now operates 2 additional pairs of services on this route during peak periods such as weekends and holidays, with an entirely new train set formed of the new Premium Class coaches.
KA Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 is a perfect daytime service for me to ride on these new coaches, leaving from Jakarta Gambir station at 7.50am and getting into Bandung at 11.07am.
NOTE: The Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 operates on the same time slot as the Argo Parahyangan Premium 7058 (Premium Class) and the Argo Parahyangan Tambahan 38F (Eksekutif/Eksekutif+Bisnis/Eksekutif+Ekonomi/Bisnis). Train numbers and/or train sets are interchangeable and only one service will operate on one time slot at any one time. Do check the actual train running on the day of your departure.
From Gambir 2 TransJakarta busway halt, walk into the station premises.
Walk under the shelter to the South Entrance.
Go to the Check-In Counters (CIC), or rather, kiosks, to check-in for your train journey.
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. Unfortunately, Tiket.com no longer sends an SMS with the booking code a couple of hours before departure.
Fares for the Argo Parahyangan Premium between Jakarta and Bandung go for Rp.90,000 (~S$8.32) with only one fare class available (non-dynamic fare).
Click on “Print” to, well, print your boarding pass.
Within 2 seconds, your boarding pass will be printed.
My boarding pass for the Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554.
Once done, follow the signs to the departure area for ticket checking.
Provide your identification documents (for the case of foreigners, your passport) to the staff who will verify your identity before letting you through.
Follow the signs to Platform 1 & 2 for the Argo Parahyangan.
Take the escalator up to the platform.
Once at the end of the escalator, you will find this sign which will inform you of which platform to wait for your train at.
The incoming Argo Parahyangan Premium 10553 arriving at Gambir from Bandung. This train will turnaround to form my Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554.
The Argo Parahyangan Premium 10553 pulling into Platform 1.
The exterior of the new Premium Class coaches.
The locomotive immediately runs around to form the Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554.
The coupling process of the locomotive to the coaches.
The Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 is now formed.
The Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554, ready to depart for Bandung.
Boarding Coach 8, my chosen coach for this journey.
The view of Seat 8D, my chosen spot for the next 3 hours or so. Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but this seat has a perfect window alignment, a forward facing seat on the left of the train (based on gut feel) for the best views to Bandung, plus it makes for good shots at curves from the last coach of the train.
Yes, I am very particular about where I sit on trains. Don’t believe that I planned my seat way in advance? Scroll up to view my boarding pass again.
While both Ekonomi New Image and Premium Class coaches have the same capacity of 80 seats on board, the new Premium Class offers reclining seats.
NOTE: This does not apply for the 64-seat wheelchair-friendly coach (not available on Argo Parahyangan Premium) whereby there are special bays of seats which change directions similar to how it’s done on Bisnis Class, and therefore do not recline.
The overall interior of the Premium Class coach.
Reading lights are available for each seat on Premium Class.
While both the Ekonomi New Image and Premium Class coaches adopt a fixed direction airline-style seat layout with each direction facing either forwards or backwards on half of the coach instead of facing bays of seats like Ekonomi AC or Ekonomi AC Plus coaches, if you still prefer to have a bay of 4 seats to your group, you can choose the facing seats on Rows 11 and 12.
The legroom available on the Premium Class coach, just like an economy class seat on a plane.
Time for a seat comfort test. This picture shows the amount of space for your legs and face when seated with no recline.
This is how it looks like with the seat fully reclined.
With the seat reclined, it encroaches into your legroom, with your knee touching the seat in front of you. Also, you may feel claustrophobic on a fully-packed train when the seat in front of you is reclined as you’ll have less breathing space in front of your face.
So, it will be your turn to recline so as to give yourself more space, thus launching a domino effect on all other seats.
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.
Upon departure from Gambir station, the Reska staff commence their drinks sales.
Power sockets are available by the window, with one socket meant for each seat.
While the new coaches are branded as Premium Class, they are still logically classified as K3 which stands for Class 3 or Economy Class.
The route map of the Argo Parahyangan.
Passing by the future depot at Cipinang.
The conductor then comes around to check for the validity of tickets.
However, as seen in my previous post on the Gajayana, the conductor no longer “checks for tickets” but merely verifies your name against your seat via the app on his phone, since you have completed the check-in process before boarding. This time though, the conductor did greet us and verified our identity by calling out our names as appeared in the app as he passed our seats.
And after our identities were verified, it’s time for breakfast/lunch/brunch(?) at the dining car or Kereta Makan. Sure, food can be served to our seats but checking out the Premium Class Kereta Makan was important too.
Notice the different types of payment modes available at the Kereta Makan.
The makan part of things only make up half the coach as this is designated as an MP3 or Kelas 3 Kereta Makan dan Pembangkit, or Class 3 Dining and Power Car.
Notice how clean the generator area is without a single drop of oil on the floor.
The Reska menu of the food available on board. Click on the images to enlarge.
Passing through Cikampek station where there are old BB locomotives on display.
Since I was disappointed with Reska on my previous trip already, I didn’t have much high hopes for meals this round too. So here’s what we ordered:
I had a Bakso PopSo Cup (Rp.25,000 (~S$2.32)), which is an enhanced version of typical instant noodles with 2 pieces of bakso halus and 1 bakso tahu included in the cup from the factory.
Here’s the Nasi Goreng Bakso (Rp.33,000 (~S$3.06)) again, without effort to make it look nice for the camera. Tastes reasonably fine but not anything memorable.
The reasonably presented Nasi Rames (Rp.33,000 (~S$3.06)), which looks okay since it’s just plain rice with side dishes.
At Purwakarta station, disused KRL trains can be seen stacked on top of each other awaiting for scrap. Among the disused trains that can be found here are KRL Rheostatik, BN-Holec, Hitachi, Toyo Rapid 1000 and Tokyo Metro 5000.
Some old coaches and former KRD (DMU) are also here with their paint stripped.
The scenic route starts here, and lasts all the way to Bandung as the train climbs up the hills and crosses over valleys.
Lots of fields on the way with curves for this kind of shots. Now you know why Coach 8 was carefully chosen.
The old single-track alignment versus the new line with smoother curves.
Passing by the Cisomang Bridge, with the old bridge still in tact.
The view down to the valley from Cisomang Bridge.
Entering the Sasaksaat Tunnel.
And because the rest are nice views without much to caption, I’ll just leave the following pictures in because pictures are worth a thousand words. So here’s a 5000 word essay:
Approaching Bandung station.
The Premium Class coaches, side by side with the Ekonomi New Image coaches attached on the next Argo Parahyangan 23 to Gambir.
The destination sign on the Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 still uses the existing ones for the Argo Parahyangan.
The Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 arrived right on time in Bandung at 11.07am.
After all passengers has disembarked from the Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554, the crew immediately starts cleaning both the interior and exterior of the train to get ready for the next departure.
The path towards the new side of Bandung station. However, since we were going to get the next Bandung Raya train, we opted to exit through the old station as it was easier to buy tickets and return back to the platform for the local train.
Overall, the Argo Parahyangan Premium 10554 offers a value-for-money train service from Jakarta to Bandung at a reasonable fare of Rp.90,000 (~S$8.32) with new seats that are comfortable enough for the short 3-hour journey. The Jakarta – Bandung route is also in my opinion the most scenic railway route in Indonesia, so considering that train fares are charged by distance and not by scenery, this would make a good introduction to Indonesian train services and natural landscapes in Indonesia if you were looking for a joyride out of Jakarta.
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)