The Inyang Effiong Show

The PodCast About People and Events around Nigeria and West Africa

Category: Review

Nigeria Railway Corporation Lagos Terminus Iddo Foundation Plaque

7 Things I learnt on my Train Trip from Lagos to Kaduna

What did I learn and what are my thoughts about train travel in Nigeria from my recent trip on the Lagos – Kano line? Here is my list of the seven things I learnt and picked up. Some are old but the journey re-confirmed them.

  1. Systems do not improve on their own. The railway system was still run down, payment was made deliberately hard, coaches were smelly and in bad condition, engines needed checks. If there is no pressure on the Nigeria Railway Corporation to change, there will be no positive change
  2. When you do not understand why chaos reigns, follow the money! Everything was made ‘last minute’, disorganised and all rush. Looking back, it was just a way to make more money for the staff and touts.  There were people joining along the route with no tickets and a whole series of coaches not good enough for passengers that were filled!
  3. The government has no business in business. Sell the NRC for 1 $ and let private industry run it!
  4. The railway system has massive upside potential, both for goods and passenger traffic. All the coaches were filled from Lagos till I dropped off at Minna. Unlock the potential and we can take things up
  5. Nigerians are adventurous and open to new ideas. In the first class section, 8 out of 10 people were travelling by train for the first time and most wanted to experience how train travel was!
  6. The Abuja – Kaduna rail line is a classic example of how not to run a business. It is heavily subsidised, overstaffed and the people enjoying the subsidies are not the lower class but people that could pay market rates for the service. The cost of the tickets cannot maintain even the waiting rooms! Charge a fair price and make it economically feasible to run. Running it like we are in a 70s era statist economy is not going to cut it.
  7. In spite of all the issues, travelling by train was great fun. I’ll gladly do it again!

 

What are your thoughts? Have you travelled by rail in Nigeria recently or plan to? Drop your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section.

Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt4

The business of the weekend done in Abuja, it was time to head off to Kaduna. I had heard good things about the Abuja-Kaduna line, time to experience it myself.

The first challenge was getting information on the location of the train station, for some reason, I only made calls and never really checked it on the map. Was I groggy from 27 hours spent on the train from Lagos to Minna

I had a vague idea of the location from talking to a couple of people and I set out by 0430 to catch the train, the departure was billed for 6 am. On the road and the first taxi told me 3,000 naira, what?

I jumped and pass, then spent another 20 mins before I even got a taxi willing to head that way. Fast forward to a few minutes past 5am and we finally left from Asokoro Area for the station. Arguing fares to places you really do not know seems not to be a good idea.

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt3

Step back, apart from checking out if the railway still works, I planned to be in Abuja Sunday AM! So time to review my options.

Earlier stories here Part 1 Here  Part 2 Here

Our ETA Kaduna was looking like the predicted 8pm, and the connecting train from Kaduna to Abuja  has the last departure at 6pm, that means an overnight stay in Kaduna. Time to look at options.

Postpone decision to Minna arrival, then we will have a better time of arrival at Kaduna. Meanwhile, kick back or rather, roam around and enjoy the scenery and other stuff on offer.

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt2

After the military ops to board, took a look around the coach interior and it was rather nice, above expectations.

Part 1 Here  Part 3 Here

Chairs were comfy, could recline real low without disturbing the person behind you and the drop down tables in front work. Good lighting you can read by, a couple of AC 220V outlets near the middle, most in working order, overhead space to store your luggage. Hmmm, not bad at all.

 

First class couch Lagos Kano Express Train

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Traveling by Train from Lagos to Kaduna pt1

Nigeria Railway Corporation Iddo Terminal

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Is the Nigeria Railway system still working? One way to find out, take a train from Iddo terminal in Lagos to Kaduna 905 km as the train travels up north. The last time I was on the train in Nigeria was in 1988, an epic 18hrs of suffering – standing between rail cars from Zaria to Ilorin under the heat, dust, cold, then rain. Things should have improved. Time to find out.

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RoadX Nigeria Car Racing Track Open for Racing

The RoadXNigeria Car racing track is open now at Evbuobanosa, KM32 Benin-Asaba Highway. The 2.5km long track follows the best tradition of car racing tracks worldwide and has something for every racing enthusiast. Currently setup for dirt racing, there is an active E30 (BMW 3 Series) racing event going on with weekend qualifiers and monthly shootouts.

The current leaderboard is available at http://roadxnigeria.com/roadx/lap-times/

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