Most rail transport in Indonesia is located on the island of Java, which has two major rail lines that run the length of the island, as well as several connecting lines. The island of Sumatra has three (soon to be four) unconnected railway lines in the northernmost province of Aceh, North Sumatra (the area surrounding Medan), West Sumatra (Padang and its environs), and South Sumatra and Lampung.
Indonesia's railways are operated by the state-owned PT Kereta Api, and the newly formed PT Kereta Api Jabotabek, operating the commuter lines in the Jakarta metropolitan area. The infrastructure is state-owned, and the companies pay a fee for the usage of the railway lines.
Indonesia's rail gauge is 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), although 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) and 750 mm (2 ft 5 1⁄2 in) lines previously existed. New construction in Aceh has the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge. Most of the Jakarta metropolitan area is electrified at 1500 V DC overhead.
Various narrow gauge industrial tramways operate in Java and Sumatra, serving the sugarcane and oil palm industries.
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“Old man, its four flights up and for what?
Your room is hardly any bigger than your bed.
Puffing as you climb, you are a brown woodcut
stooped over the thin rail and the wornout tread.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“One may disavow and disclaim vices that surprise us, and whereto our passions transport us; but those which by long habits are rooted in a strong and ... powerful will are not subject to contradiction. Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)