The Federal Government has announced that they are not in a hurry to resume nationwide train operations which were suspended as part of the measures by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The uncertainty about the resumption of train services by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) can be attributed to the danger posed by the rising cases of the coronavirus disease.
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, through his official Twitter handle on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
The Minister pointed out that all health and safety protocols must apply when train operations start and that no passenger will be allowed to enter any train unless he/she adheres to these rules.
Amaechi in his post stated, “We’re not in a hurry to start train operations because of the danger of COVID-19 spread. When we start, all health and safety protocols must apply. You will not enter a train if you don’t adhere to our rules. The train will not move if passengers do not comply.”
It can be recalled that the NRC suspended passenger train operations nationwide following the ban on interstate travel by the Federal Government on April 28 due to the spread of the coronavirus disease. They said that they cannot restart operations of Mass Transit Train Service (MTTS) until the interstate travel ban is lifted by the Federal Government. Some of the suspended passenger train services include the flagship Abuja-Kaduna train service, Lagos-Kano express train on the old narrow gauge, Lagos–Ogun passenger services, among others.
Meanwhile, ahead of the resumption of passenger train services nationwide, the NRC has started developing protocols and guidelines for safe operations.
In a related development, the Federal Government has received the final batch of the 60 passenger coaches that they had ordered last year, which just arrived in Lagos. This consists of 44 cab cars and 16 trailer cars.
The NRC had also reported that work has resumed for the construction of the 27km Blue Line of Lagos rail that will run from Marina to Okokomaiko. The project is expected to be operational by June 2022 as commuters will be able to move from Marina to Mile 2 by rail.
We're not in a hurry to start train operations because of the danger of covid19 spread. When we start, all health and safety protocols must apply. You will not enter a train if you don't adhere to our rules. The train will not move if passengers do not comply.
— Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (@ChibuikeAmeachi) June 20, 2020
Work has resumed for the construction of the 27km Blue Line of Lagos Rail that will run from Marina to Okokomaiko . By June 2022, commuters will be able to move from Marina to Mile 2 by rail/ Progress has also been made in the Lagos Lagoon bridge.
Better days lies ahead. pic.twitter.com/Y8pQR8K44i
— NIGERIAN RAILWAY CORPORATION (@Official_NRC) June 18, 2020