Lagos — The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) plans to resume the Lagos-Kano express train service on the old narrow gauge before the end of the year, Daily Trust can report.
The narrow gauge operations which convey passengers from Ijoko in Ogun State, to Ebute Meta-Apapa, Lagos State as well as the Monday's express train to Kano has been suspended since September 30 because of the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge.
At least no fewer than 10,000 passengers patronize the mass transit train from Apapa to Ogun axis when the narrow gauge service was operational.
Daily Trust reports that the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor handling the standard gauge project had shifted the narrow gauge track in some sections while a new one constructed to ensure both narrow gauge and the standard gauge run simultaneously.
Ahead of the completion of the narrow gauge track repair and commencement of operation, it was learnt that the NRC had sent out its engineers to check the tracks up to Kano.
The NRC Managing Director, Engr. Fidet Okhiria in a chat with Daily Trust said, "They (the contractor) have assured us that by 20th of December, we would be able to use it (the narrow gauge) for the first time. We hope by 20th when the Minister comes for inspection, we will do the narrow gauge from Ebute-Metta and after then we commence our commercial operation immediately on the narrow gauge."
He confirmed that the corporation is under pressure from passengers to resume the Lagos-Kano train.
"We are trying to see if we can run Lagos-Kano train before Christmas because it used to help a lot of our people. So we are targeting if we can run one or two trains before the end of the year."