The Nigerian Government has taken delivery of two inbuilt electronic/motive power locomotive engines for the Kaduna/ Abuja standard guage railway line.
The two locomotives offloaded at the Lagos Ports Complex in Apapa were part of 20 locomotives engines expected to arrive in the country for the commencement of standard gauge rail operations in Nigeria.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who gave the worth of the two locomotives as 1.5 billion naira said ten more locomotives are expected to arrive in Nigeria by September.
According to him, “these two locomotives are specifically designed for passenger train movement and it will run 24 hours with three more trips which will give Nigerian government more funds.
He explained that the delivery was unprecedented and the locomotives were designed to run 130km per hour rail services and it is double-end drivers’ cabin.
“What we used to have is a locomotive with only one drivers cabin on one side,
and the 20 locomotives expected into the country were ordered in 2014,”the minister stated.
He said that seven coaches were ordered in April, 2017 with the request from the manufacturers that Nigerian Engineers would come for factory acceptance test.
“We hope that by September, the coaches will arrive the country. The government just approved another seven locomotives, and we are in the process of raising letters of credit for those ones.
“With these two new addition, we intend to increase our return trips because the new locomotives will be running at a speed of 130km per hour as against the 90km per hour currently doing.
“The locomotives will be put to use for the Nigerian standard gauge rail project, although for now, we are only doing the Kaduna- Abuja,” he explained.
The minister further stated that the manufacturer’s of the engines would stay in Nigeria for two years so that the drivers and engineers can be trained on the engines based on the agreement term.
Commencement of Construction
He also said that the construction of the Lagos to Ibadan standard guage railway line has commenced as plans are underway to construct rail line from Abuja to Kano, kano to Maiduguri and Lagos to Calabar in order to link all the state capitals.
The Minister of Transportation was represented by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engr. Fidet Okhiria,