NRC begins work on Lagos rail standard gauge

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has started the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard rail gauge after resolving the challenges of underground pipelines and cables.

NRC’s Lagos District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that work had started on the laying of standard rail gauge from the Lagos axis.

He said: “We all know that the standard gauge in Lagos axis – from Apapa to Ijoko in Ogun State – is in the same corridor with narrow gauge.

“Now, so far so good, the government is serious about delivering the project on schedule. There is an increase in the pace of work on the Lagos axis.

“The project has been concentrated outside Lagos as a result of the underground cables and pipelines challenges in the city.

“But all have been resolved now and work has started wholly in the axis.”

According to him, water pipelines, cables and other installations underground posed challenge to the work in Lagos.

The NRC district manager said some of the railway staff quarters were also affected by the construction.

He said the corporation had paid the affected workers a year’s accommodation rent to secure alternative accommodation, pending when the new quarters built for them would be completed.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, recently said the laying of tracks of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge line would start as soon as the issue on installations of public utilities were resolved.

Amaechi spoke at Papalanto in Ogun State during an assessment of progress of work on the rail line.

According to him, the contractor in charge of the project will start laying the tracks in the Lagos axis as soon as issues on cables and the pipelines are resolved.

He said: “I am satisfied with the rate at which the project is going. I know the project will be delivered in due course.

“The laying of tracks will start in Lagos soon. What the engineers are doing now is to ensure proper channels before the laying of the tracks.”