Nigeria on Monday began conducting trial operations for the Lagos-Ibadan railway ahead of a January launch.
The experimental operations were conducted with passengers on board. The train covered the 156km journey between Ibadan and Lagos in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The Lagos-Ibadan line is a double-track standard gauge rail, the first of its kind in West Africa.
The $1.5bn project was financed by China with Abuja providing counterpart funding.
After the official inauguration, travel time will be cut to two hours, according to a statement by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCEC), the project’s contractors.
Passengers will pay between N3,000 ($8) and N6,000 ($16) for tickets.
Here we go! 🇳🇬🚞 #Lagos #Ibadan railway in #Nigeria made trial operations with passengers!
The first double-track standard gauge modern railway in West #Africa is constructed by Chinese company @CCECC8. pic.twitter.com/D529v0T8rt
— Shen Shiwei沈诗伟 (@shen_shiwei) December 9, 2020
A Nigeria Railways Corporation official said the train departs Ibadan for Lagos at 8am daily with a return trip scheduled at 4pm.
The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is notorious for heavy trucks and traffic gridlocks that can stretch for several kilometres.
The Lagos-Ibadan line is the first part of a new 2,733km Lagos-Kano standard gauge line. The total cost of the project was valued at $11.117bn.