Despite the return of normalcy on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, it has been witnessing low passenger patronage, barely 24 hours after the resumption of train services by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on that route.
The low passenger turnout has been experienced on that route since resumption of rail services after the quick repairs of the damaged portion of the rail track despite the heavy deployment of security forces to ensure safety of passengers.
According to NAN, activities at the Rigasa station on Sunday indicated that in spite of the resumption of normal train services, the turnout of passengers travelling from Kaduna to Abuja was still low.
It observed that the train, with a carrying capacity of 928 passengers per trip, had barely 300 passengers on board traveling to Abuja, leaving over half of the seats empty.
The passengers who insisted that the train service still remained the safest means of transportation despite the attack a few days ago, however, urged the government to ensure that they improved security along the rail lines and its surrounding areas.
The various passengers expressed delight at the prompt intervention of the NRC which led to the quick resumption of train services especially with the upcoming festive period and has dispelled the fears of the general public.
They said that this will further reduce the heavy traffic on the highway with the increasing risk of road crashes and even attacks by criminal elements who operate on that route.
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Recall that on Thursday, October 21, 2021, the NRC announced the immediate suspension of rail service operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route following the alleged detonation of explosives on the train track by bandits.
This comes after an overnight attack which was reported to have occurred between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, left passengers traumatised, with witnesses reporting that the attackers also fired live rounds into driver compartments.
The NRC, however, announced the resumption of Abuja–Kaduna train services on Saturday, October 23, 2021, after the repairs on the damaged rail tracks.