Nigeria’s new railway celebrates 900 days of safety
ABUJA, Nigeria — Passengers stood on the platform waiting to board a train from Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Saturday only to be wowed when they were informed that the train service had been safely operating for 900 days.
A male voice announced from a public address system said that the train service had been in commercial operation for 900 days and without any major accident recorded since its inception.
Many looked in amazement, expressing satisfaction at the safe operation of the Abuja-Kaduna train service, the first standard gauge railway in Nigeria and West Africa.
The train connects passengers from Idu, an industrial development area of Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja, to Rigasa Village of Igabi local area of the northwestern state of Kaduna.
The Abuja-Kaduna train service started commercial operation on July 27, 2016, following the completion of construction by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
With the Nigerian Railway Corporation being its main operator, local passengers lauded the CCECC and NRC for working together to achieve maximum safety with efficient operation.
Yakubu Garba, a regular passenger of the Abuja-Kaduna train service, described his experience so far as “top-notch”.
“It is a wonderful experience. The number one advantage of the train is safety, because of the security challenges in Nigeria,” Garba said.
He also encouraged more Nigerians to use the train, especially those working in Abuja and residing in any of the satellite towns along the route of the train to “buy into this idea”.
Garba said he has been more comfortable using the train since he observed that due to the security situation in the country, armed policemen are seen around the train stations and inside the train.
“It is a commendable effort. I wish it will go around the country and we will be better for it,” he said while getting on board the train.
The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is one of the first Standard Gauge Railway Modernization Projects undertaken in Nigeria.
It is the first segment of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge project, which will link the commercial hub of Nigeria and the hub of economic activities in the northwest region of the country.
The goal of the railway modernization initiative in Nigeria is to replace the existing narrow gauge system with the wider standard gauge system while allowing highspeed train operations on the railway network.
Last month, more than 80,000 passengers got on board with the idea of train travel on the AbujaKaduna train service, more than double the number of passengers it previously recorded, the official said.