President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned two Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) and six 68-seater passenger coaches, all air-conditioned, acquired by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) from China, as part of infrastructure meant to enhance the revitalization of the railway system.
Vice President, Namadi Sambo, represented President Jonathan at the event.
“This is another manifestation of the current government’s sincere commitment to the development of railway in the country,” he said yesterday at the Iddo, Lagos Terminal.
The president further stressed that the railway remained top of his administration.
According to the NRC managing director, Adeseyi Sijuwade, the new railway vehicles meant to be deployed for mass transit train services, were expected to increase the number of passengers moved by railway in Lagos from the current 16,000 to 22,000 daily.
“These DMUs will free upa number of our heavy locomotives currently being used for passenger services, which can then be redeployed to pull freight wagons,” Sijuwade said.
Each set of the DMU was made up of three trailer cars (coaches) and one motor car at each end. Powered bytwo sets of 1,200HP Cummins diesel engine and one 166HP cummins generator for auxiliary power, the capacity of each trailer is 72 seating and 108 standing, making a total of 540 passengers for the three cars.
“This configuration eliminates shunting at terminal stations, thereby reducing delays and journey time,” the NRC boss added.
He said the six air-conditioned coaches; each with 68 passengers would be deployed as first class coaches on long distance intercity train services, starting with Lagos to Kano service.
“This is expected to immediately increase the number of passengers on the Lagos to Kano service from 6000 to 7,000 per week. It is also expected to result in a drastic reduction in congestion on our trains,” Sijuwade said.
The Chairman of NRC Board, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur said the board would continue to provide the corporation with need policy directions to enable it continue to provide affordable, safe and value-added rail transport services to the commuting and freighting public.