Indonesia has cancelled a $5bn plan to build its first high-speed rail link between Jakarta and the West Java provincial capital of Bandung.

The government is planning to come up with a cheaper rail link with medium speeds of 200km/h, instead of the high-speed line, as the project involved state funding.

"The president has decided not to make it a high-speed train. It is enough to have a medium-speed train."

China and Japan, the chief contenders for the high-speed rail contract, have been asked to submit their proposals for the slower line.

The decision was taken as high speeds of 350km would not suit a short distance of 150km.

In addition, the route has eight stations, which would hinder the performance of a high-speed train.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Economics Darmin Nasution was quoted by media as saying: "The president has decided not to make it a high-speed train. It is enough to have a medium-speed train.

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By GlobalData

"Although the speed could be 300km/h, the train would not be able to reach the maximum speed, because before it reaches the speed, the brake has to be put on."

China and Japan have been vying for the high-speed train contract, the biggest infrastructure project started by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Japan offered to construction the line in five years, including a one-year trial operation period, while China planned to finish it in three years.

A train ride from Jakarta to Bandung currently takes approximately 3h and the high-speed rail would have cut the journey time to 35min.

Compared with the high-speed rail project, a medium-speed train would cost between 30% and 40% less, but be only about 10min slower.

"There are eight train stations between Jakarta and Bandung.

"Before reaching the top speed, the train has to stop at the stations. So the maximal speed may only be around 200km/h," Nasution added.