Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently announced that the ongoing Lagos Rail Mass Transit Project’s red and blue line rail in Nigeria are well on course for completion in the fourth quarter of this year.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the announcement while addressing journalists after inspecting the ongoing works at Ikeja, Yaba, Ebute Metta, and Marina stations, which are a part of the red and blue line rail projects.
He said that they embarked “on this similar tour approximately three months ago” and that he was happy to report that the construction works are going on according to schedule.
Work done on Ikeja, Yaba, Ebute Metta stations since the last time the governor toured the sites
According to governor Sanwo-Olu, there are significant improvements in construction works at the sites of the Ikeja, Yaba, Ebute-Metta, and Marina stations now, compared to the last time he was there in September 2020.
At the Ikeja Station for example, which will be the main iconic station for the red line project, the works were at the foundation level in September but now they are at the second-floor level, on the way to the third floor, which is the final floor.
The road works at Ikeja, as well as the overpass from Obafemi Awolowo to Agege Motor Road is also well underway.
At the Yaba site, on the other hand, the contractors are now on the second floor in line with the matching order to the contractor to ensure that they keep to the timelines and the deadline, while the Ebute-Metta Station is far ahead of delivery considering that the contractor has already finished the carcass of the station.
Commitment to deliver the red and blue line rail projects as scheduled
“Our promise on the red and blue line rail projects still remains. We believe that by the end of this year we will see the trains on top of the tracks. That is our commitment and we will begin to monitor and check ourselves to make sure that that happens.
It is a very iconic and landmark project that we are truly proud of, and on behalf of the government, I want to commend all of our contractors for their commitment. They have assured us that they will complete all of the projects on schedule and on budget, whatever it takes” concluded the governor.
Lagos Rail Mass Transit is an urban rail system being constructed in Lagos. The project is being managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). Equipments like electric power, rolling stock, signalling and fare collection equipment for the rail be offered by private sectors under a Concession Contract. LAMATA will be responsible in, regulation, policy direction and infrastructure for the network.
The first phase of the network, the Blue Line, was ealier planned to complete in 2011, though the scheme suffered many delays brought by funding shortfalls and government changes. In February 2021, the Lagos State Government revealed that the Blue and Red Lines will be opened by December 2022. The rapid transit plan in Lagos started long in 1983 with the Lagos Metroline network developed by the Alhaji Lateef Jakande during the time of Second Nigerian Republic. The first project for the Metroline was scrapped in 1985 by Muhammadu Buhari at a loss of more than $78 million to the Lagos tax payers. The idea to develop Lagos Rail Mass Transit was revived by Governor Bola Tinubu later in 2000s with the construction set in December 2003. This first proposal worth $135 million was part of the wider Lagos Urban Transportation scheme to be implemented by the formed Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). LAMATA earlier concentrated on creating a Bus Rapid Transit system, running between Mile 12 and Lagos Island. LAMATA decided to progress with the rail scheme later in 2008, focusing much on the Blue and Red Lines.
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A metro was proposed to be developed in Lagos.
Construction started on the Blue Line.
Lagos Rail Mass Transit construction was approved to proceed. .
In September , LAMATA revealed that it would get some H5-series subway trains ealier used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The automotives were to be refurbished in the United States and converted to standard gauge, imported and brought into service on the Red and Blue lines. The same contract also comprised an option for some H6-series subway cars from the Toronto Transit Commission, but was later cancelled. The trains were constructed as two-unit married pairs with the driver’s cab in the front right corner of every car.
In January, LAMATA decided ro get Chinese-built trains rather than ordering 15 electro-diesel multiple units planned from CNR Dalian with an option for 14 more. Around 76 H5 cars that were taken for refurbishment to Buffalo, New York, were scrapped by August 2015.
The Infrastructure Bank (TIB) in joint venture with the Marina Express Train Service Ltd (METSL) has committed to construct the proposed Lagos Metro Rail Transit (LMRT). The project will gulp a total cost of US$2.4bn.
This was revealed by Sen. Idris Umar the Transport Minister during the Right of Way (ROW) handing over event that took place in Abuja for the construction of the proposed rail line, Iddo-Agbado Corridor. However, the proposed Lagos State Mass Transit Train Services (MTTS) also known as Red Line scheduled to operate in the metropolis of Lagos State.
In line with the report issued by the Minister for Transport, the MTTS Red line will be responsible of moving a massive number of persons in a day from Agbado to Marina axis which will now take a maximum of 4 to 5 hours.
In fact, the project is aimed at easing transport challenges especially in the commercial centre which is the core economy development of the country that is estimated to accommodate a population density of about 20million.
Mr Umar was also pleased over the request by Lagos State Government to the federal government to release the Easter section of the existing NRC Right of Way in Lagos. Expressing his gratitude, he said that the request was well received by a Technical Committee with representatives from the Ministry of Transport, NRC, Lagos state government and Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) who will look into the possibility of sharing the existing NRC rail corridor in Lagos without interruption in the operation of the corridor.
According to Mr Olusegun Aganga the Industry Trade and Investment Minister, the project will generate between 5,000 and 10,000 direct and indirect jobs opportunities respectively to the immediate State residents.
October 2015 Rail mass transit construction project in Nigeria on track
The construction of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit construction Project in Nigeria is in good progress. Also known as Blue Line project, the project is expected to ease transport need of the fast growing population in Lagos.The project construction is being supported by the government of the United Kingdom.
London mayor Alderman Alan Yarrow led a team of London business delegation on a round-table meeting to discuss the progress of the project. The meeting was also attended by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) officials.
One of the strategic master plan transport project to be implemented in the coming 20-30 years is the Blue Line project. The project plan is estimated to cost US$20bn on six rail lines; 14 BRT lanes; three cable car projects; 20 waterway routes and one mono rail.
The Rail Mass Transit construction Project in Nigeria will involve 11 stations, 27.522km rail track from Okokomaiko to Marina. Phase I of the project is anticipated to have engulp US$1.12bn for the 7km covering 2miles to the National Arts Theatre has been completed. However, Phase II of 5km has already commenced from National Arts Theatre to Marina.
According to Dayo Mobereola, the LAMATA Chief Executive Officer clarified that the delay was due to funding issues and that is why the State Government is currently pursuing potential investors into the capital intensive project.
Lagos can successfully be transformed into a city of infrastructural development for easy transportation of persons and goods. This can easily be achieved through the implementation of the rule of law in the city ensuring the right contracts are in place.
Phase I of the Blue Line from Marina to Mile 2 was set to open in December 2016.
In August, LAMATA signed an agreement with Alstom. Being part of the agreement, Alstom did a review of the rail lines. Later after the project’s review, which would have initiated passenger activity, the state government revealed that the Blue Line would be ready for passenger operation by 2022. This deal also planned for the electrification ln a portion of the track.
September 2020 Proposed Red Line Rail project to link Lagos Airport in Nigeria
The Lagos State Government in Nigeria has announced plans to construct a rail infrastructure under the proposed Red Line Rail project, linking the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS). This together with the world-class bus terminal project under construction will be mainly used to transport air passengers to and from the airport according to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor.
The governor was speaking during a meeting held ahead of the reopening of the airspace for international flight operations, with the management team of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), led by its Managing Director, Captain Rabiu Yadudu.
He said that the Red Line Rail project whose right-of-way has already been determined will start from Ebute Metta and pass through Oshodi. The Lagos State Government hopes to start the project before the end of this year.
The governor’s proposal on improving the Lagos airport
During the meeting, the Lagos state Governor asked the FAAN management to work on the remodeling of the airport’s facilities to make it become a hub of business and tourism. He said that some of the facilities installed in the airport needed modernization and upgrading.
He particularly suggested the provision of fast, free internet connectivity within lounges at the airport, explaining that the era of passengers sitting for long without internet access is long gone.
He insisted that the functionality of the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) must be fully explored, and urged the management to invest in facilities that would drive more passenger traffic to the airfield.
“The Murtala Mohammed International Airport is an important asset, not only to the Federal Government but also to Lagos State. The strategic use of this airport should necessitate that need for us to fully harness the asset and make it a bubbling destination” emphasized the governor.
November 2020 Lagos Blue Line Rail project, Nigeria: Mile-2 to National Theatre section over 98% complete
Mile-2 to National Theatre section which is Phase II and III of the Lagos Blue Line Rail project, an urban rail system being developed and under construction in Lagos Nigeria is now over 98% complete. This is according to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor for the design and construction of the Light Rail.
The contractor also mentioned that four stations had been completed so far as well as other elements such as the tracks works, while work was still ongoing on the 4th phase between the National Theatre and Marina Bridge. They explained that some areas of the project platform were elevated for example from Iganmu to Marina, while some others were on the ground in the middle of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
About the Lagos Blue Line Rail project
The Lagos Blue Line Rail project is part of the Rail Mass Transit System project which is sponsored by the Lagos State Government (LSG) and being developed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
The 27.5 km Blue Line rail starts from Marina to Okokomaiko and it will have 13 stations. The line will run on the surface in the central reservation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway between Igbo-Elerin Road (Okokomaiko) and Iganmu. It will then be elevated from Iganmu along the south side of the expressway passing the junction with Eric Moore Road, crossing just south of the National Theatre to Iddo, then south to Lagos Island with a terminal at Marina.
It will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles.
Other lines in the Lagos Rail Mass Transit System project the Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown, Orange, and Red lines. The latter will be between Marina and Agbado a distance of approximately 30km and the construction of the line is set to commence in 2021.
Construction of 37-km Rail Mass Transit LRMT Red Line that runs from Agbado to Marina was launched with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), formerly the Foreign Aid Bureau of the Ministry of Railways as the contractor.
The project would be implemented in two phases, the first of which covers a total distance of 28km from Agbado to Oyingbo. This phase will be sharing a track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernization Project up to Iddo, from where it will have its own dedicated track to Oyingbo.
The second phase on the other hand starts from Oyingbo to Marina.
With a total of 12 stations, three of which will be along the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, six of the remaining at Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin Yaba, and Oyingbo, and the at Iddo, Ebute-Ero, and Marina, the LRMT Red Line project is expected to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022.
Once operational, the project whose capacity is approximately 500,000 passengers/day will reduce travel time along the route from about two and a half hours to approximately 35 minutes.
The Lagos State Government has completed plans for the start of construction works of the ultra-modern Agbado Railway Station in January 2022. This was disclosed by Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) during a stakeholders’ forum, held at Agbado Town Hall, Agbado- Ijaiye, Ogun-Lagos border axis.
The Agbado Railway Station is a part of the ongoing Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project that includes the construction of a 37-kilometer railway line in Ikeja, from Agbado to Marina, and 12 railway stations in two phases.
Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project overview
The project, which is the second of its kind in the state, following the LRMT Blue Line project whose implementation began back in 2010, is led by the Lagos State Government, Ogun State Government, and the Lagos Ogun Joint Development Commission with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), formerly the Foreign Aid Bureau of the Ministry of Railways, as the contractor.
It is being implemented in two phases, the first of which covers a total distance of 28km from Agbado to Oyingbo. This phase will be sharing a track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernization Project up to Iddo, from where it will have its own dedicated track to Oyingbo.
The second phase on the other hand starts from Oyingbo to Marina. With a total of 12 stations, three of which will be along the Lagos-Ibadan Railway, six of the remaining at Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin Yaba, and Oyingbo, and the rest at Iddo, Ebute-Ero, and Marina, the LRMT Red Line project whose capacity is approximately 500,000 passengers/day, is expected to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022.
It will reduce travel time along the route from about two and a half hours to approximately 35 minutes.