Nigeria’s first high speed plying the Abuja – Kaduna route will commence operation in February or March of the year, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, has said.
The 186.5km standard gauge track was built by the China Railway Construction Corporation with double lines over a period of three years at a cost of $850m. It has nine stations and the train runs at 150km per hour.
“Next month, we’ll be taking delivery of modern coaches to run on the standard gauge line, specifically for the Abuja-Kaduna line, so that that service can commence immediately. We’re looking at February/March for the service to commence.”
The Federal Government had earlier approved N1.1bn for the purchase of two modern diesel/electric locomotives to run on the new rail line.
Sijuwade, however didn’t say if the two engines had been delivered by the contractors, Messrs CNR Locomotives and Rolling Stock Limited, and CCECC Nigeria Limited.
The contract was for the design, manufacturing and launching of the locomotives with a capacity of 2,800 kilowatts for standard gauge tracks; the training of 30 NRC personnel on the operation and maintenance of the engines; test-running in Nigeria as well as a one-year maintenance and technical support with two resident technicians from the manufacturers.