The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Adeseyi Sijuwade has declared that the first high speed plying the Abuja – Kaduna route will commence operation in February or March 2016.
Speaking in Lagos at the inauguration of refurbished coaches and wagons, some of which were deployed for the weekly Lagos-Kano train on Friday to meet the increasing number of passengers, Sijuwade said the corporation would take delivery of modern coaches that could run on the standard gauge track next month to facilitate the take-off of the train service, The Punch reports.
According to him, “Next month, we’ll be taking delivery of modern coaches to run on the standard gauge line, specifically for the Abuja-Kaduna line, so that that service can commence immediately. We’re looking at February or March for the service to commence.”
The 186.5km standard gauge track was built by the China Railway Construction Corporation with double lines over a period of three years at a cost of $850m. It has nine stations and the train runs at 150km per hour.
The Federal Government had previously approved a grant of N1.1bn for the purchase of two modern diesel/electric locomotives to run on the high speed new rail line.
Sijuwade, however didn’t say if the two engines had been delivered by the contractors, Messrs CNR Locomotives and Rolling Stock Limited, and CCECC Nigeria Limited.