Abuja and Kaduna to be linked by rail in 29 days

By Post Nigeria December 2, 2014 15:37

Abuja and Kaduna to be linked by rail in 29 days

The Federal Government said construction of Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line is 85percent complete and would be ready for commissioning by end of the year.

Nigerian Television Authority on December 1 reported that the Chinese rail construction giant China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) officially rounded off the track laying work of Nigeria’s first standard gauge railway modernization project linking the Federal Capital Territory to the northwestern state of Kaduna.

The rail system had been in comatose for over two decades till 2009 when the implementation of a 25-year Strategic Vision was implemented to revive the sector. It took the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan to commence work on the vision in 2010, when the contract was awarded to CRCC.

The Federal Director of Railways, Engr. Barau Gafar said that the project was initially awarded in 2006 to run from Lagos to Kano. However, government decided to segment it to six parts namely Lagos to Ibadan, Ibadan to Ilorin, Ilorin to Minna, Minna to Abuja, Abuja to Kaduna.

The project was commenced in segments which are Lagos to Ibadan and Abuja to Kaduna.

Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar said in a ministerial press briefing reported by DailyTrust newspaper, that the railway project commenced in February, 2011 with the laying of about 155km tracks out of the 187.5km rail track distance.

Mr Umar expressed his optimism that his ministry is living up to expectation in developing an adequate, safe, environmentally sound, efficient and affordable, integrated transport system.

He revealed that arrangements have been concluded for the purchase of two more locomotives in the first quarter of 2015 to be added to the 25 HP locomotive acquired from General Electric for narrow gauge rail lines and that the construction and rehabilitation of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge rail line is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2015.

“The rehabilitation work in Eastern line Port Harcourt- Maiduguri (1,657) is progressing steadily with the Port Harcourt-Gombe segment, including the branch line from Kafanchan-Kaduna expected to be completed December, 2014.” He said.

At the completion of the railway, the transport sector of Nigeria would have achieved a major milestone; the influx of people from neighboring towns around the FCT would drastically reduce as trains would run at a speed of 120km to 150 km per hour, and anyone living in Kaduna will traverse to Abuja in approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

This means that workers in the FCT could live in Kaduna and work in Abuja comfortably without having to leave their families in Kaduna for days, money that would have been spent on renting apartments, constant automobile maintenance would be saved and consequently, the endless traffic flow of vehicles into the FCT would reduce drastically and there would be a robust growth in the Nigerian economy.