The new high speed railway linking Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, to the commercial capital in north-western Nigeria’s region of Kaduna, began initial trial operations on Friday. It is the first time for an African railway to be built on Chinese technical standards.
The 187-km rail is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs when it becomes fully operational in July when President Buhari will flag it off.
“We are looking at bringing Mr. President to commission in July. In two weeks’ time, they will do the test run of the track without passengers, after that two weeks, it will take another two weeks to do test run with passengers and it will be free of charge and that will take us to the end of June. Which means by first week in July, we believe that the president will come and flag it off for commercial service,” said Rotimi Amaechi, The Minister of Transportation to the Premium Times in early June
The railway, worth 1.04 billion dollars, has nine stops and will transmit both passenger and cargo trains on an average speed of 150 KM per hour.
The train service is aimed at giving an option in public transportation for commuters. Although the fares are yet to be given out, it was indicated by the Ministry of Transportation that the fares will be suitable and affordable.
Security measures are also being implemented with passengers with identities that have been screened and certified be allowed to board the trains. According to the Minister of Transport passengers will be required to present identification cards before being permitted on board.