The Abuja- Kaduna standard gauge railway is Nigeria’s first railway to be built by the Chinese. It runs north from the station at Idu to the state capital of Kaduna, connecting the federal capital of Abuja. The line is a 116-mile single-track, standard gauge railway that was built in accordance with Chinese regulations.
China Civil Engineering Construction Company’s (CCECC) construction work cost 874 million USD between 2011 and 2016, with a portion of that amount coming from a 500 million USD concessional loan from China Eximbank.
Abuja- Kaduna Standard Gauge Railway in Nigeria to be completed by December 2014
The Abuja-Kaduna railway line, a Standard Gauge Railway, in Nigeria, is set to be completed by December this year according to the country’s Minister of Transport, Idris Umar.
The Minister also confirmed that the project is now at about 85% of completion, adding that the construction of Lagos–Ibadan standard gauge (double track) 2 x180km has also been awarded as part of measures to boost the country’s rail transportation sector.
It was also confirmed that the rehabilitation of the 1,124km western line (Lagos-Kano) is complete and the section is now operational, whereas work is gradually ongoing at the Eastern line- Port Harcourt–Maiduguri 1,657km. Port Harcourt– Jos Station and the branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna are set to be completed by the end of August this year.
The Federal Ministry of Transport will also help to revive and rejuvenate the Nigerian Railway system for the haulage of goods and carriage of passengers. The feasibility study of the rail system will increase the use of inland waterways in order to stimulate economic activities, enhancement of maritime safety and security, as well a good welfare system for the staff, among others.
There is also the provision of an automated access control system that will prevent intruders’ access to the premises. The system will involve vehicle underground scanners being installed at the entrance gate. The project began in the year 2010 and the contract was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction. It is expected to cost US$849m.
Abuja-Kaduna train service receives two locomotives and 10 executive passenger coaches
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned two locomotives and 10 executive passenger coaches procured by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to be deployed on the Abuja-Kaduna train service.
President Buhari commissioned the rolling stocks and promised that all economic zones across the country and the states’ capital will be linked to the railway to facilitate businesses, human movements, and cargo.
The Abuja-Kaduna train line service was previously commissioned in July 2016 by President Buhari. It currently runs four trips per day and transports about 1280 passengers daily to and from Abuja and Kaduna.
“The government is committed to linking all major commercial and production centers by rail for rapid social economic development and improving the quality of life of the citizens and improving the national integration,” said President Buhari
President Buhari promised further investments in the service. “Other supporting projects that have been approved is the procurement of more locomotives, coaches, wagons, workshops, and equipment that would be used for standard gauge lines,” he added.
Meanwhile, the president assured to ensure all the other railway expansion projects across the country are executed.
According to President Buhari, the government will further focus on coastal rail from Lagos-Calabar with branches to Benin, Agbor, and Onitsha to Port Harcourt. He also said another standard gauge line will be built from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri with branches to Owerri, Akwa, Abakaliki, Makurdi, Yola, and Damaturu.
Buhari also said the concession for the narrow gauge to General Electric should be completed this year even as he said the railway laws will be amended and regulations strengthened to attract private sector investments into the rail sector.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said at the commissioning that the government will do everything possible to ensure that the Lagos-Ibadan double gauge railway is completed in December and commissioned in the first quarter of 2019.
The minister also announced that other railways projects will commence this year. He said the government will need between US $36bn to US $40bn to complete all the slated railway projects.
The minister also confirmed that the train fares will go up following improved services and the rising cost of operations. He said the new fares which will soon take effect will see economy coach travelers pay N1,200 per trip (previously N900) from Kaduna to Abuja while the business class coach travelers will pay N3,000 per trip (previously N1500) from Kaduna to Abuja.
The minister also revealed that the Warri-Itapke standard gauge line abandoned for over two decades will be completed by September 2018 even as the seven coaches procured for the service will soon arrive in the country from China.
With a total of 14 coaches (previously four) and four locomotives (previously two), the NRC is targeting two hourly train services and at least eight train services (previously four) daily. That means there will be four train services from Abuja and Kaduna daily.
Our correspondent further gathered from Engr. Niyi Ali, the director of operations of NRC that after about two months of operating the eight trips, the service will move to 12 trips daily adding that when that happens, an hourly train service will be possible on the route.
“We will start with eight this Friday and run for about two months. Within the period, we will study the passengers’ flow and technical operations. Then we will go to 12 services daily” he said.
Among the new services to be introduced on the route is an express service that will not stop at all the nine stations like the normal services. But it’s not immediately clear if the express service will cost more. The express service will only stop at Idu, Kubwa, and Rigasa train stations.
Also, an additional baggage carriage van has been introduced to the service.
At the launch of the inland dry port, the President urged Customs and port officials to make these facilities work and not to frustrate businesses and commercial and industrial enterprises with unnecessary bureaucracy.
He said that will inflict delays and hardships in the process thereby defeating the object of the whole exercise as has happened in the past.
Reported in June 2018
Nigeria’s Abuja- Kaduna Standard Gauge Railway Project is 85% complete
The Kaduna standard railway project in Abuja, Nigeria is now 85% complete. This was revealed by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, at a ceremony to mark the attainment of the modernization railway track laying project.
The minister said the 186km rail project is now 100km completed, and in three months’ time, the remaining 86km track will be completed. “All the required materials are already on the ground to achieve the completion and availability of the rail line.
The constraints of water interference at 19 km and some estates built along the rail line in Kubwa were resolved.” he added. The track laying has reached an advanced stage, with 110km of track panel laid and 47,356m ballast distributed.
The project is being carried out by the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC). According to CCECC project manager, Mr. James Li, there has been steady progress in the rail line construction since commencement adding that about 185km of the 186.5km route distance has been cleared, 8,597,000m of earth excavated, 403,000m of rock blasted and 6,064,000m of earth filling.
Substructural work on the 26 rail bridges and the five box bridges is now complete. Also, 13 out of over 30 over-pass bridges have been completed with work in progress in 16 others.
The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is one of the first Standard Gauge Railway Modernisation Projects (SGRMP) undertaken in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. The standard gauge line will connect Nigeria’s federal capital Abuja with its commercial capital Kaduna, enabling faster movement of goods and people between the two cities.
The railway modernization initiative in Nigeria aims at replacing the existing narrow gauge system with the wider standard gauge system while allowing high-speed train operations on the railway network. The US$8.3bn contract for the Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project awarded to CCECC in 2006 marked the beginning of the initiative.
The project, however, couldn’t be implemented due to funding problems. It was later re-scoped into different stand-alone segments and the existing 1,124km narrow gauge Lagos-Kano line was rehabilitated.