The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced plans to commence free railway service from Warri-Itakpe from Monday November 26, 2018.
The train is scheduled to originate from Ujevwu in Warri and terminate in Itakpe in Kogi state few kilometers to Lokoja on Monday and Thursday and return trip from Itakpe to Warri on Tuesday and Friday at 10am each day.
A statement by the NRC Managing Director, Mr Fidet Okhiria disclosed that the train service would be free for the next four weeks, urging the general public to patronize the service.
He said that the daily operations would be used to study the timing and traffic pattern for the period of one month, before commercial activities would commenced fully adding that the daily test run operation will end on Dec. 26, with inspection by various government officials to see the level of work going on.
Disclosing that some National Assembly members went ontrain ride, they were pleased, he said “We are preparing to go on more inspections with government officers but before then, we will start our daily test run, not commercial, so that we can study the timing and traffic pattern and this would done for a month till Dec. 26, then commercial operation will commence immediately,“ he said.
The NRC boss stated that the operations would start with passengers first, before cargoes, as the passengers would start bringing goods and the warehouse would be available to off-load the goods.
Although the MD noted that the 12 stations for the train service were still under construction, he said temporary stations would be used pending when the stations are completed, assuring that that the stations would be completed by the first quarter of 2019.
“We are still working on the stations; we don’t want to wait until the stations are completed before we start, we have temporary stations, so that we don’t interfere with what they are doing which is allowed.
“If we wait for the stations to be completed, the tracks may be vandalized again, but by the time we engage it for maintenance, we will protect the tracks.
“Stations will come later; we hope that by the first quarter of next year, the 12 stations will be completed and commercial service will start after Dec. 26,’’ he said