The newly constructed standard gauge railway line from Iju in Lagos State to Abeokuta in Ogun State Friday began its non-commercial operations.
“This is the first official train service we are putting on this track, and from today it’s commencing its non-commercial operations that will be running every day taking people from Iju to Abeokuta for time being free of charge,” Fidet Okhiria, managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, said during the test drive of the rail project.
He added that by the end of May, the full-length Lagos-Ibadan tracks will be completed.
The rail which was commissioned by vice-president Yemi Osinbajo in 2017, and being executed by South African Railways and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, will take trains travelling at 150 kilometres per hour.
Minister of transport Rotimi Amaechi, the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Lagos East Senator Gbenga Ashafa, traditional rulers and other management staff of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, were on the ride for the inspection.
Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, who was also on the test run of the rail lines today, from Iju to Abeokuta said this was part of the deliveries of the Buhari administration to Nigerians.
Amaechi had on Thursday said passengers will be carried free of charge in the two coaches free of charge pending the arrival two additional coaches from Itakpe.
The minister also reiterated that the federal government has placed an order for 30 standard gauge locomotive engines and 300 wagons from China.
He was quite optimistic that the laying of tracks from Abeokuta to Ibadan axis will be completed by June 2019 adding that civil work has already been completed while ballasting is ongoing.