HomeNewsKano-Lagos Express Train to Boost Trade and Tourism in Nigeria

Kano-Lagos Express Train to Boost Trade and Tourism in Nigeria

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Nigeria is set to launch a new express train service that will connect the commercial hub of Lagos with the northern city of Kano, a distance of over 1,000 kilometers. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) announced on Sunday that it is perfecting plans to commence the operations of the Kano-Lagos express train service soon, after completing major repairs on the damaged portions of the rail tracks.

The NRC said the express train service, known as the 2LL, will offer a fast and comfortable alternative to road transport, which is often plagued by insecurity, traffic jams, and poor road conditions. The train will also boost trade and tourism between the two regions, as well as create employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The NRC’s announcement comes as part of the federal government’s efforts to revamp the country’s railway system, which has suffered from decades of neglect and underinvestment. In recent years, the government has embarked on several railway projects, in collaboration with Chinese contractors, to modernize and expand the network across the country.

Some of the completed or ongoing projects include the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge line, which was inaugurated in 2016, the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge line, which was launched in 2021, and the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge line, which was revived in 2020 after being abandoned for over 30 years. The government is also working on a coastal railway line that will link Lagos with Calabar in the southeast, as well as a transnational railway line that will connect Kano with Maradi in Niger Republic.

According to the NRC, the Kano-Lagos express train service will operate on the existing narrow gauge line, which was built by the British colonial government in the early 20th century. The line has a capacity of 1067 mm, which is different from the standard gauge line of 1435 mm. The NRC said it has refurbished and modernized the coaches and locomotives of the 2LL train, which will have air-conditioned cabins, luxury restaurants, and other facilities for passengers.

The NRC also said it has conducted several test runs of the train, which traversed Kano, Kaduna, and Minna with empty coaches, to ensure the safety and reliability of the tracks. The train will have its overnight stay in Minna, the capital of Niger State, before proceeding to Lagos, the NRC said.

The NRC did not specify the exact date of the commencement of the Kano-Lagos express train service but said it would be soon. The NRC also did not disclose the fare or the duration of the journey but said it would be affordable and competitive with road transport. The NRC said it expects the express train service to attract many passengers, especially traders, tourists, and commuters, who will enjoy the convenience and comfort of traveling by rail.

The NRC also appealed to the public to cooperate with the corporation and protect the railway infrastructure from vandalism and theft, which have been some of the challenges facing the railway sector in Nigeria. The NRC said it is committed to providing efficient and effective railway services to Nigerians, in line with the vision of the federal government to transform the transport sector and the economy.

Source: Business Day

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