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NRC to start passenger transportation on Eastern route by December – Official

By on September 14, 2013

Passenger service on the Eastern railway route will commence before the end of December, an official of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), an official said on Friday.

The District Manger, NRC, Eastern zone, Mr Felix Njoku, made the plan known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia.

The Eastern route of NRC stretches from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri through Makurdi and Kuru ,near Jos,’’ Njoku said.

He said that the December date was based on the successful rehabilitation of some parts of the Eastern rail route.

“We told the public before now that barring all odds, railway operations along the Eastern route would start in August.

“I am happy to state that government and the firm executing the job from Port Harcourt to Makurdi were able to achieve that target with the movement of train from Port Harcourt to Enugu,’’ Njoku said.

NAN reports that residents of Umuahia and adjourning communities have witnessed train movements across the area in the recent weeks.

Njoku explained that trains noticed along Port Harcourt/Enugu end of the Eastern route were conveying equipment from Port Harcourt Wharf to Ehamufu Railway Station in Enugu State.

He said that with the successful movement of the train from Port Harcourt to Ehamufu, the corporation was happy.

“With this feat, the NRC hopes that trains would once again move on the Eastern rail line after years of suspension of operation,’’ the manager said.

Njoku explained that the contract for the rehabilitation of the Eastern track was sub-divided into three to ensure fast realisation of the project.

“Work is moving as expected on the Port Harcourt to Makurdi route which is my area and work is equally progressing from Makurdi to Kuru, near Jos, given the privileged information I have,’’ he said.

Njoku said that the project on the third end, from Kuru to Maiduguri, was hampered by security challenges in the area.

He said with the reconnection of all the disconnected rail lines from Port Harcourt to Enugu, NRC hoped to commence passenger service before December.

“The Enyiama Bridge, which collapsed sometime, has been reconnected.

” The rail line disconnected at Elekohia area in Port Harcourt has been reconnected and that made it possible for the train to move from Port Harcourt to Ehamufu,’’ Njoku said.

He explained that the materials being moved from the wharf would be used to replace faulty rails, pins and sleepers.

Njoku said that apart from rehabilitating some existing trains, government acquired new Diesel Multiple Units train to support some of the locomotive engines in the NRC fleet.

He urged enthusiastic passengers to keep faith with the corporation and gave an assurance that business would, once again, thrive in all the rail stations within the zone. (NAN)