Excitement as new Lagos-Ibadan train operation begins – Newstrends
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Excitement as new Lagos-Ibadan train operation begins

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Passengers travelling from Ibadan to Lagos had plenty of fun and a smooth ride on the train on Monday as the Nigerian Railway Corporation commenced commercial operation on the new standard gauge rail line.

The train with all the trappings of modernity including air conditioner left Ibadan, the Oyo State capital at 8am, according to a statement by the NRC, captioned, ‘NRC starts Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge passengers train’ and return passengers going from Lagos to Ibadan at 4pm.

Managing Director of the NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, had said during the last inspection visit and train tour of the new line by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, that the new train would commence operation on December 7.

He also said 24 new coaches, four locomotives dedicated to passenger train, nine freight locomotives, and shunting locomotives had arrived in Lagos while two of the freight locomotives would be transferred to Warri.

The statement by the corporation on the starting of the new train on Monday signed by the Lagos District Public Relations Officer, Dr Khadijah Aroyewun-Adekomaiya, quoted the NRC Lagos District Manager, Jerry Oche, as saying the train was “run using newly acquired coaches and locomotives.”

He added, “This service is fast, convenient, safe and relatively cheap. There is an option for everyone as the tickets are available in Economy to First-Class rates.”

Oche explained that “the journey time from Lagos to Ibadan is two and a half hours which makes more sense going by recent reports of traffic that has characterised Lagos-Ibadan road due to ongoing road construction along that axis.

“Train service in Lagos is experiencing a new dawn and we are encouraging Nigerians to embrace this new service.”

The corporation also said it observed all the regulations concerning the running of trains during the period of COVID-19 such as wearing of nose masks, hand washing practice, which are measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some details about the new train were also given by a presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi, in a tweet, stating that “For now, it’s doing 30-40km/hr in Lagos metropolis.”

He added, “Speed and capacity will increase with time. Keep in mind there’s still some construction work ongoing (station buildings etc).

“Also likely won’t hit maximum speeds until the line fencing is completed. (Sadly because of some Lagosians’ love for rail-line merchandising).”

The statement issued on Monday by the NRC is presented below:

NIGERIAN RAILWAY CORPORATION

                 PRESS RELEASE

NRC STARTS LAGOS-IBADAN STANDARD GUAGE PASSENGERS TRAIN

The Nigeria Railway Corporation has commenced the operation of passengers trains from Lagos – Abeokuta – Ibadan  on Monday December 7th, 2020. This newly introduced service provides fully air-conditioned train services in different categories.

The Lagos Ibadan standard gauge train affords members of the public the opportunity to leave Ibadan for Lagos at 8. 00am in the morning and return at 4.00pm same day.

“The newly introduced standard gauge trains have finally come to fruition as the service is run using newly acquired coaches and locomotives. This service is fast, convenient, safe and relatively cheap. There is an option for everyone as the tickets are available in Economy to First Class rates” Engr Jerry Oche (Railway District Manager).

“The journey time from Lagos to Ibadan is two and a half hours which makes more sense going by recent reports of traffic that has characterised Lagos Ibadan road due to ongoing road construction along that axis. Train services in Lagos is experiencing a new dawn and we are encouraging Nigerians to embrace this new service” Engr Jerry Oche.

All major rules and regulations guiding the trains remain, especially in the area of nose mask usage and hand washing practice, which are measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 while on-board the train.

Khadijah Aroyewun-Adekomaiya (PhD)

DPRO (LD) EBJ

Railway

NRC cancels first Abuja-Kaduna Thursday train after Wednesday derailment 

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NRC cancels first Abuja-Kaduna Thursday train after Wednesday derailment 

…says vandals responsible

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has cancelled its first Abuja-Kaduna Thursday train (today) scheduled to move by 8am after it experienced a derailment on the route on Wednesday.

It announced this on Wednesday evening in a statement issued by its Deputy Director of the Public Relations Department, Yakub Mahmood, while giving an update on the derailment.

The Abuja-Kaduna train AK3 had reportedly derailed at the Asham Railway Station about 30 minutes after leaving Kubwa, Abuja.

Mahmood said, “For operational reasons, the first train from Kaduna (Rigasa) scheduled for 08.00 hours will be cancelled on Thursday 6th June, 2024 only, while all other train services will run as scheduled.

“NRC management deeply regrets the inconveniences that this technical hitch might have caused our esteemed passengers.”

The derailment on Wednesday, according to Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Bimbo Olawumi, occurred at 3:52pm, shortly after the passenger train departed the Kubwa station, Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Mahmood in his statement said, “The passengers on board were safely returned to Abuja (Idu).”

He added that the tickets of passengers who could not use the train would remain valid for a subsequent journey within two weeks.

The NRC spokesman said, “This minor hitch is attributed to the removal of track fastening clips by vandals.

“However, the NRC management remains resolute towards ensuring the safety of our valued passengers in the entire system.”

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Apprehension as passengers train derails in Kaduna

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JUST-IN: Abuja-Kaduna train terails, passengers stranded

A passenger train on Sunday derailed at Jere along the popular Abuja-Kaduna route, leaving the travellers stranded in the mountainous area.

The train was said to have left Kaduna at 8.05am heading for Abuja but developed fault about an hour later and stopped at Jere.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were inside the train.

It was however learnt that more armed security personnel had been mobilised to the area in addition to those on the train to allay the fears of the passengers and their family members.

Senator Shehu Sani, in an alert raised on his verified X handle, stated, “A Kaduna morning train derails near Jere but engineers are attending to it.”

Workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation have been drafted to the spot to repair the train, with about three carriages off the tracks.

Security personnel, including soldiers and police officers, are also on the spoke to keep watch over the passengers and the train.

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Finally, Port Harcourt-Aba train service begins with four-day free ride

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Finally, Port Harcourt-Aba train service begins with four-day free ride

A four-day free train ride from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Aba, Abia State will begin today, May 1, signifying commencement of rail service along the 62-kilometre route.
This is coming a month after the train operation on the rehabilitated narrow gauge track was initially meant to start.
Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Alkali, inaugurated the rail service in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Alkali said the project was part of the rehabilitation of 1,443km Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge rail line.

He said that the Port Harcourt to Aba section of the project was the initial part of the Eastern narrow-gauge railway, aiming to connect five geopolitical zones of the country.

He said, “The Federal Government is pleased to inaugurate the train service from Port Harcourt to Aba, a key priority area of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
“We are grateful to God for the completion of the Port Harcourt to Aba section, which will bring succour to the people.
“The Eastern narrow gauge covers five geo-political zones of the country, including South-South, South-East, North-Central, North- West, and North-East,” he said.
Aba to Enugu rail is next
Alkali said following the completion of the first segment and the start of commercial operations of the rail service, the Federal Government would soon commence the construction of the Aba to Enugu rail project, linking the two states together.
He added that his ministry was working with investors to ensure the conversion of the locomotive across the country from diesel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to reduce transportation costs further.
“Shortly, we will take a train ride from Port Harcourt to Aba, which means that from today, passenger train service has commenced.
“We will continue the project from Aba to Enugu and from Port Harcourt to both Onne and Port Harcourt seaports for freight services.
“The ministry is currently in discussion with an investor to convert our locomotive from diesel to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to reduce transportation costs further,” he said.
The minister assured Nigerians that arrangements were being made with security agencies to ensure adequate security along the rail routes.
He also announced free train rides from Port Harcourt to Aba between May 1 to May 4.
“The train will depart from Port Harcourt to Aba at 8am daily, while it will leave Aba to Port Harcourt at 3pm daily.
“Full commercial operations will resume on May 7, 2024,” he said.

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