Abuja railway ready for test run in a few weeks

Three and half months after the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, promised residents that trains will begin to run in the city area, it is still a dream that may come in a few weeks.

In fact, Bello declared that residents should get ready to ride on the FCT light rail last Christmas as work on the project had reached 98 percent completion.

Another leg of his ye-to-be fulfilled promise was that air travellers would now have a choice, either to board cabs on arrival or departure or ride on trains from  the airport train station to the Central Business District Central Station.

A source claimed the trial coaches for a test-run of the Abuja Light rail project have been delivered and will be inspected by the Minister “anytime from now.”

It was gathered that the trial coaches will offer skeletal services until the main coaches arrive.

However, it was observed that construction work on most of the railway stations are on-going though the railway tracks are in place.

While swearing-in Mandate Secretaries (equivalent of State Commissioners) and Coordinators of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council and Satellite Town Development Department last Sepember, Bello said he met the project packages of Abuja light rail projects, at stages of completion below 70 and 50 percent respectively, adding that he drove the projects to 98 percent completion. He announced that residents should expect to ride on these trains by Christmas this year.

Malam Bello pointed to the significant works that have been done in the three major access ways into the City namely; the Outer Northern and Inner Southern Express Ways as well as the major arterials into the heart of the City, also known as the Constitution and Independence Ways. Some of these, he added, are ready for use by the public while major finishing touches were going on.

Media reports last week announced that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) took delivery of three coaches for the trial operations of the Abuja Light Rail Project.
Quoting the FCTA Transport Secretary, Kayode Opeifa, who said the three ultra-modern coaches were delivered from China have the capacity for 390 passengers, reports said the coaches larrived about the same time with the Kaduna rolling stocks that were launched at the end of last year.

However, he said while these are being awaited, the test-run coaches would be rolling with passengers.

He said when the rail service begins full scale operation, between 120,000 and 200,000 passengers would be conveyed daily in the 20 coaches.

The contract for the light rail project is undertaken by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at a cost put at $823 million (about N299 billion).

The total length of the double track rail project segmented into three Lots is 45.245 kilometres.

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