Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has announced that the Abuja/Kaduna railway service would resume operations on Saturday, October 23, 2021.
The Minister stated this while inspecting the Abuja/Kaduna railway after a blast that destroyed tracks around Dutse and Rijana station.
“I think what is significant is that the repair was done by our own Nigerian engineers and completed in record time.
By tomorrow we expect to run the first train.
Speaking on security, the Minister said, “What this has done to us is that it will fasten the procurement process of a digital security system that we want to put in place it had gone to cabinet two weeks ago and it was returned so we will represent it to the cabinet to ensure that we get approval, then we can install the digital security network.
“The essence of the digital security system is to enable us to know when there is an impact on the rail.
It has a sensor, when people walk across the rail we will be able to know.
We will get the police to be involved so that they will be here before we install the security system.
“I’m happy, what this has done is that it has shown that we actually have the capacity to fix our rail.
The essence of this is to make sure that by the time you leave, we should start gradual process of constructing our own railway.
“You can see the lady engineer, however, she can be able to fix that, she and her colleagues will be able to do more kilometres of track laying and possibly track construction.
The Minister assured the public that beyond the physical presence of police and deployment of the military along the track, buses would be on patrol regularly to monitor end to end from Abuja-Kaduna and it will the same thing for Lagos-Ibadan
The Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation, Engineer Fidet Okhiria disclosed that the number of trips would be increased.
“Is better to run more trains as running more trains would not give people the opportunity to tamper/interfere with the tracts, because a train just passed from Abuja to kaduna not quite 30mins when the explosion were executed and planted.
And if we have all trains.
The people would have to work very hard to be able to plant explosives.
I believe that when we restart we would start with eight trips when we come back tomorrow maybe tomorrow we may run four trips but Sunday eight trips because Sunday is a busy day.
So tomorrow we are running four trips so that we can run from Abuja to kaduna and balance the train set while we are working on the loco that were affected Ted.
After fixing the loco that were affected, we would run our usual ten trips.
The NRC MD added that,“The Commissioner of police came here, the DSS are now going to be fully involved.
On the issue of network jamming/communication on the axis, he said, “The situation necessitated pilot working.
The train that the Maintenance staff brought to site occupy the site and whether you call them or not you have to see the train back to the station physically and we have a pilot man that would tell us that there is noting on the track again.
He would be the person leading the driver.
Before now we would have had what we call detonators that would blast three times.
We would try and introduce what we had in warri itakpe, the satellite telephone so that we can communicate.
Abuja-Kaduna Train service to resume operations on Saturday