The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidel Okhiria, on Wednesday said Itakpe-Warri rail line will begin daily operations on Monday, November 19, 2018.
Okhiria who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja 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.
He noted that the daily test run operation will end on Dec. 19, with inspection by various government officials to see the level of work going on.
“By Nov. 19, we will commence daily operations, on Nov. 7 some National Assembly members went there for a train ride, they were pleased.
“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.
“So, we will do that for a month, ending Dec. 19, then commercial operation will commence immediately,” Okhiria said.
He further said 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.
According to him, 12 stations for the train service were still under construction, stressing that temporary stations would be used pending when the stations would be completed.
The NRC boss said that the stations would be completed by the first quarter of 2019.
He said, “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. 19.’’