Local workers at the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway station in eastern Jakarta area of Indonesia have been excited about China's advanced technologies applied in the high-speed railway construction and are eager to learn more about them.
One of the equipment which they have shown the most interest in is the gigantic Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) which arrived at the project site early last month after being shipped from China's Shanghai.
The TBM, which weighs 3,649 tons with a diameter of 13.19 meters and a length of 102 meters, will be assigned to build a tunnel below the station near a key east Jakarta toll road.
The China-made TBM has a particular shield tunneling technology that enables the traffic on the ground to go on as usual while it extensively drills the tunnel below.
Round-the-clock work has been jointly carried out by local and Chinese engineers to assemble the TBM since its arrival.
Learning the assembling of the gigantic equipment enthusiastically, a local worker said knowledge about and working experience with TBM would be useful for the further development of his career as an engineer.
38 year-old Ronald Lintang, an assistant engineer at the project told Xinhua recently at the project site."I need to get this experience as it uses high technology that I have not seen before. This is the largest of its kind that has ever been operated in Indonesia, so I am really excited to participate in this project,"
The newly-wed man from Indonesia's North Sulawesi province, who coordinates technical jobs with contractors involved in the project, said that the TBM is expected to commence its job to drill the tunnel at the station by the end of this month.
To make the 1,885-meter tunnel, known as tunnel No. 1, the TBM will operate on non-stop basis with a drilling pace of 8 to 10 meters per day.
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Speaking highly of the first high-speed railway project connecting Jakarta and Bandung that enables people to travel between the two populous cities in 45 minutes, Ronald said the modern train transport system will significantly boost the country's connectivity and economy.
It is quite an honor for him to join the project that would bring Indonesia modern transportation technology, said Ronald, who has been working for Sinohydro Corporation for several years.
"I will tell my son, my grandsons that I was involved in the first high-speed railway project in Indonesia. I really hope this kind of train can be developed to serve more cities in Indonesia."
Ronald said that he is one of the about 200 local workers hired at the station project. He and other local workers joined hand in hand with around 60 Chinese engineers to get the jobs done at the site.
Cultural difference is no longer an issue in the project, he said. Local workers and the Chinese engineers have now become familiar with each other. Sometimes they introduce to each other their respective cultural values during lunch break or on other casual occasions, he added.
"This is a good idea to blend us together in doing the job here. The Chinese engineers are teaching local workers new technologies as planned," he said.
With the construction of the high-speed railway project under the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Indonesia will be the first country in the region to get more chances of achieving faster economic growth, he said.
"This would be the actual manifestation of shared prosperity initiated by China. Hopefully the high-speed railway would further spur our country's economy."
The Jakarta-Bandung high speed railway is expected to be completed in mid 2021.