There have been controversies on who or which government actually started the recent move to restore the trains in Nigeria particularly the popular and latest Abuja-Kaduna rail.
While the APC-led government is trying to take the credit for cutting the tape and buying a locomotive train that costs more than what China used to build the longest speed rail in the world, the PDP is also trying to make a comeback as a political party.
In this piece, we will be doing a fact-check on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line project and other ones coming up across Nigeria.
Need to Know About the Abuja-Kaduna rail Line Project
- It is one of the first Standard Gauge Railway Modernization Projects (SGRMP) ever undertaken in Nigeria.
- It connects Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory with the commercial city of Kaduna, Kaduna State.
- The construction started in February 2011 and was completed in December 2014.
- It was built by the China Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for Nigeria’s Federal Government.
- The Abuja-Kaduna Rail project created an employment for 4,000 people and is expected to create 5,000 more as operations begin.
- Now, this project replaced the narrow standard gauge we use to have with wider standard gauge system to allow for high-speed train operations.
- This project was first initiated in 2006 with the $8.3bn contract for the Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernization project. Lack of funding stifled the project and re-scoped to make provide standalone segments for the already existing 1,124 km narrow gauge Lagos-Kano line was rehabilitated.
- Abuja-Kaduna rail happens to be the first segment of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge project.
- The funding for these projects is by a Public-Private Partnership.
- Abuja-Kaduna rail project line is 186 km with a standard gauge from Idu, Abuja to Kaduna with nine stations and features both passengers and cargo trains.
- The sum of N1.1bn ($6.6m) was approved for the purchase of two locomotive trains in October 2014.
- The cost estimate was $847m with China’s Export-Import Bank providing a $500m concessionary loan for the project. The remaining amount was provided for by the Federal Government.
- The agreement for the project was finalized in 2009, the contract was awarded in December 2010 and the launch for track laying of the single standard gauge line was in July 2013.
- By July 2013, the Abuja-Kaduna rail line was 68% complete, earthworks and hydraulic structures at 92% and 87% complete respectively.
- Approximately, the project was 85% complete by October 2014 and the final works were concluded by December of that the same year.
- The laying of this rail line involved the construction of 30 railway bridges, including five box bridges. Bridges were pre-cast T-beams.
- By the middle of 2013, 187 out of the total 348 precast T-beams were produced, 52 were installed successfully and each T-beam was 2.5m high and 120t in weight.
In conclusion, the Abuja-Kaduna rail line was started in 2011 and completed in December 2014.
Credit: Rail Technology