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NRC: Minister launches e-ticketing, eight more trains coming for Abuja-Kaduna

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After a trial run of a novel idea of electronic ticketing for the standard gauge Abuja-Kaduna train, a formal launch of the innovation was held in Abuja on Thursday.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, inaugurated the e-ticketing with a demonstration of the process, which was witnessed across the country and abroad via Zoom.

This inauguration came with an announcement that the Abuja-Kaduna trains would be increased from eight to 16 with an indication that more people expected to start using the train with the e-ticket platform would be accommodated.

Amaechi had said last week that the Nigerian Railway Corporation had commenced the test bookings on the e-ticketing platform on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line as a prelude to the launch.

He made the disclosure through a tweet posted on his official Twitter handle Wednesday, January 13.

He said the tickets would be sold through phones, designated outlets and at various stations, adding that measures had been put in place to ensure that the e-ticketing meets international standards.

The innovation is expected to enable passengers to access the train tickets easily and guarantee orderliness as well as address some security challenges.

The introduction of the e-ticket platform by the NRC is coming against the backdrop of complaints by passengers about unpleasant experiences in buying the train tickets.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said six more trains would be added to the Abuja-Kaduna trains in anticipation of more passengers on the route following the launch of the e-ticketing.

He stated this at the launch of the e-ticketing, adding that the arrangement was to have one train moving every hour on that train corridor.

“Now that we have gone digital with our ticketing, those who have refused to use the train because of ticketing hurdle can now come.

“We are moving from eight trains to 16 trains so that every hour, there will be a train. We have removed the hurdle around the ticketing.”

He commended the minister and the NRC chairman for their quality leadership and particularly stressed that the pressure by the minister had been a positive driving force for innovative changes and improvement in the nation’s railway system.

Railway

Police arrest two suspected train vandals in Lagos

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The police in Lagos have arrested two men suspected to specialise in vandalising and stealing railway track.

They were said to have been arrested in the early hours of Monday January 30 while conveying in a private car some pieces of cut off rail track to an unknown destination.

Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed the arrest of the two suspects on his Twitter handle.

He stated, ”At about 1am today, a patrol team from Ijora Badia Division intercepted a Mitsubishi Lancer car conveying vandalised railway tracks. The two occupants of the vehicle have been arrested. Investigation is ongoing.”

Some incidents of train derailment in parts of the country have been traced to sudden damage to rail track suspected to have been done by vandals.

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Updated: Abuja-Kaduna train services to resume Tuesday, says NRC

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The suspended Abuja-Kaduna fast train will resume operations tomorrow, Tuesday January 31, 2023, the Nigerian Railway Corporation has said.

The train service was suspended by the NRC last week after a derailment recorded at the Kubwa Station on Friday January 27.

A statement announcing the recommencement of the train signed by the NRC Director of Operations, Niyi Alli, obtained on Monday, read, “The board and management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation is pleased to announce the recommencement of the Abuja-Kaduna Train Service which was suspended on Friday 27th January 2023 due to the derailment that occured at Kubwa Station on the same date.
“The service will resume on Tuesday 31st January 2023 with the following daily schedule; KA2 departs Rigasa at 0700; Ak1 departs Idu at 10.00; KA4 departs RIGASA at 13.00hrs; AK3 departs idu at 16.00.

“However on Wednesdays only KA2 will depart Rigasa at 0700 and and AK 4 will depart Idu at 16.00.
“The corporation once again regrets any inconvenience our esteemed passengers may have experienced as a result of the temporary suspension of the service.”

 

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After presidential ride, 750-volt dedicated power to delay Lagos rail operations

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The new Lagos electric-powered metro rail, the Blue Line, inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, cannot commence immediate commercial operations, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The line, he said, would only become operational after the completion of a 750 Volt-ampere dedicated power supply source.

The train made a round trip between the Marina station and National Theatre, with residents watching in excitement.

 

The inaugural ride on the train was performed by the President in company with Governor Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, and other invited dignitaries.

The completed tracks, spanning 13 kilometres in the first phase, extend from Mile 2 to Marina, covering five stations.

Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) constructed the rail infrastructure, which will transport 250,000 passengers daily.

The governor said the iconic Marina station commissioned by the President was designed as Africa’s metro hub with a capacity to process 28,000 passengers per hour.

He said the development of the state rail infrastructure project was to increase mobility for commuters and raise productivity to energise the state economy.

A statement by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, stated that at the event, President Buhari supervised the signing of contract by Governor Sanwo-Olu for the commencement of the project’s second phase, which will cover 14-kilometre stretch from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.

Sanwo-Olu said the delivery of the Blue Line Rail was the culmination of the “timeless vision” of the Lagos State Government initiated by his predecessor and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom the governor described as “the architect of modern Lagos”.

Tinubu, the governor said, developed a comprehensive road map for the state’s economic prosperity through continuous implementation of the State’s Strategic Transportation Master Plan (STMP), which envisioned six metro lines.

Sanwo-Olu said the construction of the Blue Line could have been completed years before the APC took power at the centre in 2015, but noted the project was slowed down by hostile policies of the then Federal Government led by an opposition party.

He said: “Since 1999, Lagos has not enjoyed the kind of support it is receiving from the President Buhari administration since 2015.

“The socio-economic impact of various projects we have commissioned during the President’s two-day visit bears testimony to the support and collaboration we have enjoyed from the APC-led Federal Government. Mr. President, we are proud in Lagos to be associated with your national vision for infrastructural transformation.

“The Blue Line we are commissioning today is a product of timeless vision by Lagos State, which dates back to the administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu 20 years ago. One of his greatest legacies was the development of road map for the future of Lagos, which cleared the pathway for a modern, prosperous and competitive mega city. With the rail line, a journey of two hours will now take 15 minutes. This will improve quality of life for our citizens, while Lagos will grow to be one of the most resilient mega cities.”

Sanwo-Olu said the Blue Line would be operational after the completion of 750 Volt-ampere dedicated power supply source.

The governor said the iconic Marina station commissioned by the President was designed as Africa’s metro hub with a capacity to process 28,000 passengers per hour.

The governor said the development of the state rail infrastructure project was to increase mobility for commuters and raise productivity to energise the state economy.

He said the ongoing construction of the Red Line, which extends 37-kilometre from Agbado to Ebute Metta, would be completed before the end of May.

Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the courage of his predecessor, former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who started the Blue Line project despite opposition from the then central government.

He said: “This rail infrastructure is for the benefit of our teeming citizens who daily endure the pain of traffic gridlock from their homes to workplaces. This is about bringing relief to your mobility challenges and ensuring Lagos works for you.

“We believe this will make your journey easier and better your lives. The Greater Lagos that we promised you is rising. You can see and feel it. This is a demonstration of purposeful government.”

Dr. Hamzat described the Blue Line as “the most audacious project” to be funded by a sub national in the history of the country, noting that the Sanwo-Olu administration took the steps to complete the project given its importance to solving transportation challenges in the state.

“The excitement about this rail project is justifiable, considering the fact that it will certainly help to reduce the pressure on our roads, enhance the economic wellbeing of Lagosians and put our dear State on the same pedestal as others of its stature. People come first in all that we do, because they are the bedrock of our government,” the Deputy Governor said.

 

 

 

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