NRC Reactivates Eastern Line Old Narrow Gauge Networks

January 16, 2024
eastern rail line

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has commenced the reactivation of old narrow gauge networks with the Eastern rail line already at an advanced stage to resume operations.

This was disclosed by the Director of Mechanical Services and Signal Communication at the rail corporation, Mr Jerry Oche, on Tuesday, saying that the Eastern line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri was one of the old narrow gauge lines currently receiving the attention of the federal government, being undertaken by the NRC.

He said that with the completion of the track laying, NRC had commenced the rehabilitation of coaches and locomotives ahead of the resumption of operation on the all-important route.

Mr Oche said that the NRC had immediately swung into action to ensure that the vehicles for Aba to Port-Harcourt train services were ready within a week.

He said he was assisted by the District Manager of the Port-Harcourt berth, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, to inspect the vehicles for the services.

The PH berth also ordered an immediate commencement of repairs to enable train passengers from the eastern part of the country to start enjoying train services.

“Vehicles undergoing immediate repairs are five SPs, one SPA, one DRC, and two BVAs.

“Some of the vehicles in Enugu will be moved down to Aba to assist in receiving the anticipated overflow of passengers and goods, which is usually experienced on the route.

“Also, NRC civil engineers are working on the track, preparatory to the introduction of the Jos intra-city mass transit train in Plateau,” he said.

In a related development, the corporation said several coaches had been rehabilitated to resume the Lagos – Kano Express passenger train route.

The coaches are currently at the Zaria Carriage and Wagons workshop, preparatory to the commencement of the train service, one of the services suspended by the NRC, adding that there are plans to introduce the Kaduna intra-city mass transit train.

According to the Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, while inspecting the newly completed Port Harcourt – Aba track, “We are working in phases, they have laid the track up to Aba but we are so anxious to commence operation and that is why the minister has directed us to come and see, so that we can plan ahead to commence operation.

“So we took inspection from Port Harcourt to Aba. We have confirmed that the main track has been restored.

“As we speak, we can put locomotives and wagons on the track from Port Harcourt to Aba. We are working hard to ensure that very soon, the operations will start. Signalling and communication will also be restored soon.”

The NRC boss said the Lagos-Kano express train service will resume in the first quarter of 2024, saying the NRC is working round the clock to restore the old narrow gauge tracks.

The NRC said the corporation had made significant progress in its ongoing drive to bring back the hitherto abandoned networks.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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