Bookings are computerised and can be made up to 90 days in advance.Indonesian trains run on narrow-gauge 3' 6" tracks, but are pretty fast and usually very punctual.An excellent train system links all the main cities on Java, including Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Probolinggo (for Mt Bromo) and Banyuwangi (the ferry terminal for Bali).
(via Y) = runs via Yogyakarta & Solo, not Semarang, see route map at top of page.
Trains 1, 2, 3 & 4 are the Argo Bromo Anggrek (the Bromo Orchid), Eksekutif class only, air-conditioned.
As you pass through each station, look for the station master in his red and gold hat, standing to attention outside his office watching the train pass through.
The countryside is largely flat, rice paddies, villages, towns, palms and the occasional mosque.
You take a train the 151 km from Jakarta to the port of Merak from where ferries sail to Bakauheni on the southern tip of Sumatra every 20 minutes around the clock taking between 90 & 120 minutes.
A local bus or taxi will then take you the 94km from Bakauheni to the main southern Sumatra town of Bandar Lampung in about 90 minutes.
Trains 51 & 52 are the Taksaka Pagi, Eksekutif class only, air-conditioned. Approaching Cirebon you'll see the vast shadow of Mt Cereme in the distance to the south, its summit usually hidden by cloud.
Trains 117 & 118 are the Fajar Utama, Bisnis class only, air-conditioned. It's an active volcano and the highest point in west Java.
It has comfortable reclining seats with footrests and a catering car.