Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, would test run the Lagos – Ibadan Standard Gauge railway next Wednesday, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said.
Speaking during an inspection ride on the standard gauge train from Agbado to Abeokuta of Friday, Amaechi said that the public would thereafter enjoy two-month free ride on the route from Feb. 7.
”The Vice President is expected to flag off the test run of the standard gauge rail project on Feb. 6 for passengers use.
”Arrangement was being put in place for passengers to enjoy free train for about two months between February and March,” Amaechi said.
According to him, some coaches would be brought from Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail to supplement available coaches for passengers use.
The minister said that work was in progress on the various train stations within the numerous corridors.
He said he was satisfied with the job done on site, adding that efforts had been put in place to expedite work between Agbado and Apapa axis of the project.
”The level of work would have been faster in Lagos but due to some challenges of right of way in the city,” he added.
The minister said that from Feb. 7, passengers going to Abeokuta would enjoy free train ride from Agabado, Lagos station to Abeokuta in Ogun.
According to the minister, the rail project will further bring about economic development in the area and Nigeria when ready.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister inspected, among others, the Bolade-Oshodi, Iju-Fagba, Ijoko rail tracks to assess the laying of rail tracks on the axis
NAN reports that Mr Fidet Okhiria, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), had said that the track laying of the project was moving towards Lagos, adding that 1.5 kilometres tracks were laid everyday.
”They have done a lot in laying of tracks between Abeokuta, Itori, Papalanto, Kajola, Ijoko towards Lagos corridor.
”Within seven days the track laying will reach Iju towards Agege corridor of Lagos State.
”From here to Iju its 10 kilometres, and we are laying 1.5 kilometers on daily basis and by first week of February we will do a test run to Abeokuta from Lagos.
”All the formations have been put in place to expedite the tracks laying,” the NRC boss had said on Wednesday.
Mr Jerry Oche, the NRC Lagos District Manager, said that the train, when completed, would be travelling by 150 kilometres per hour on the 156 kilometres Lagos – Ibadan trip in less than two hours.
”With the new standard gauge you can reside in Ibadan and be working in Lagos which is a very good development to people and for our economy,” he said.