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Java’s most popular class with the masses is economy (ekonomi). Cheap, basic, slow, excessively crowded, and a riot of livestock, hawkers, musicians and all manner of produce, these chicken trains move the country around and halt at every stop (except, quite often, a city’s central one). Seats on these trains are hard (literally) to get and cannot be booked. Some, however, have been upgraded – designated ‘economy plus’– and are limited express with padded seats that can be booked.

One giant step up from economy are the express trains, which offer business-class (bisnis) and executive-class (eksekutif) carriages. Comfortable seats with plenty of leg room are guaranteed in both, but while business class has fans, executive class offers air-con, reclining seats, video (maybe) and a snack.

Top of the range are the fast luxury trains that operate from Jakarta. Usually indicated by Argo at the head of the name, they have everything an executive-class carriage offers, plus business services.

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