The track laying work for the 312km-long double-track standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan railway line project between Lagos and Ibadan in Nigeria is now fully complete. This was reported by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the company in charge of the US$ 1.53bn project, in its twitter handle.
CCECC was awarded the project back in 2012 but could not commence the work immediately due to the paucity of funds. The beginning of the construction work was marked by a spectacular groundbreaking ceremony performed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in March 2017 after the project received funds from the Nigerian and Chinese governments.
When fully operational, the Lagos-Ibadan railway line project is expected to have 10 stations and trains operating at a maximum speed of 150 km/h. This project is the second segment of the new 2,733km Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway line project.
The Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway line project
This is a modernization initiative in Nigeria aimed to replace the existing British-built Cape narrow gauge system, which has a lower design capacity and in a deteriorated condition, with a wider standard gauge system and allowing high-speed train operations on the railway network.
The US$8.3bn project awarded to CCECC back in 2006 runs across Nigeria, from the Atlantic Ocean port of Lagos to Kano, near the Niger border, parallel to the British-built Cape gauge line and it is being implemented in standalone segments.
The decision to execute the project in segments was reached once it proved impossible to deploy the project as a whole.
The first segment between Abuja and Kaduna approximately 186km begun construction in February 2011 at a cost of approximately US$874m. It was completed in December 2014 and in July 2016 it officially began offering services to the Western African country citizens.
This line has nine stations and features both passenger and cargo trains. The passenger trains with a capacity to carry up to 5,000 commuters, can be operated at a speed between 200km/h and 250km/h. The cargo trains, on the other hand, carry up to 800t of goods and takes one and a half hours to travel between the two cities.