The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has revealed plans to test run the Lagos-Abeokuta rail line early next month. According to Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director of NRC, 1.5 kilometres of rail track is being laid daily towards Lagos.
“Within seven days, the track laying will reach Iju towards Agege corridor of Lagos state,” he said while inspecting the project at Ijoko, Ogun state.
The test run is behind schedule as it was earlier scheduled for this month. In December 2018, Rotimi Amaechi, the Nigerian Minister for Transportation revealed plans to invite Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for a test run in the first week of January 2019. However, for one reason or the other, the test run was not carried out.
Since the tracks were not completed as scheduled in the first week of January, the Minister reportedly issued the contractors working on the project a 2 weeks ultimatum to complete the tracks.
Based on the current progress of the project, the NRC believes the tracks will be ready for a test run by February.
In 2016, Nigeria’s first high speed rail line began operations between Abuja and Kaduna.
In 2017, the Federal Government announced the commencement of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.
The contract was awarded to the China Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), alongside the Kaduna-Kano and the Calabar-Port Harcourt rail lines.
The Lagos-Abeokuta rail is the first phase of the project. Trains will reportedly be travelling at 150 kilometres per hour on the new tracks.