* commercial operations kick off October
The federal government has ordered massive rolling stock ahead of the commencement of commercial operation on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge project.
The rolling stock comprises 30 engines, 63 coaches and 200 wagons.
The chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan, disclosed this on Thursday when he led 24 other members of the corporation on an inspection of the 156-kilometer project.
He added that a conference coach and a super sleeper with a spa were among other facilities currently on order.
Also ordered, according to him, are two Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) of 30 coaches which would be delivered before December.
Daily Trust reports that the federal government has set aside October for the commencement of commercial passenger and cargo activities on the project being undertaken by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).
The Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria had disclosed during the last inspection in June that two locomotives had been delivered from China.
Today, Alhassan confirmed that with one of the tracks already at Kilometre 154, what remains are the two branch lines, one, into the works yard and other connecting the Ibadan dry port.
He envisaged that these would be completed by July ending.
The chairman also unveiled a conference coach where the board held its inaugural meeting. Most of the board members expressed surprise at the ongoing railway transformation which they said they were experiencing for the first time.
According to him, the government would want a situation where corporate organizations would hold their board meetings or conferences on the train’s conference coach.
The chairman who spoke after a train ride to Lagos said, “This trip has been a richly rewarding trip for most members of the board and the feedback we got from so many of them indicated that they were not only happy but are in a better position to appreciate the federal government,” he said.
The MD in a separate interview said arrangement had reached crescendo for the smooth take-off of commercial operations on the standard gauge.
“Commercial operation will begin on this route by October and we want to assure Nigerians that they can board the train from Agege in Lagos and land at Ibadan within one hour,” Okhiria said.
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