President Goodluck Jonathan is billed to commission five new 68-seater air-conditioned passenger coaches delivered to the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on Thursday in Markurdi, Benue, these coaches were offloaded at Apapa Port, Lagos on Saturday 17th January, 2015.
According to the
Managing Director, NRC, Adeseyi Sijuwade said the newly acquired rolling stock at the Ebute Metta worksyard of the corporation that the new coaches would be deployed to the Eastern Line to service Markurdi to Gombe. He also promised the corporation’s commitment to providing a rail service in which all Nigerians would be proud.
Also inspected were the newly acquired two 16-seater air-conditioned rail buses and 18 five seater motorised Trolleys.
Sijuwade said: “All these equipments are brand new, a development that necessitated the Corporation’s team of engineers to embark on comprehensive testing of the coaches and other equipments preparatory to their deployment.”
He said the latest addition brought to 11 the number of air-conditioned coaches in its fleet. Six had earlier in April 2014 been commissioned and deployed on the Western Line.
He said these rail vehicles were designed and manufactured in China, specifically for the Corporation’s narrow gauge by CSR Nanjing Puzhen Company Ltd and Kintech Nigeria Ltd.
“These newly acquired air-conditioned coaches were tested satisfactorily over the weekend in the corporation’s Lagos workshops and I can confirm that they are perfectly okay for our use. They would be deployed for commissioning at Makurdi Railway Station on Thursday which would also signify the flagging off of the Makurdi to PortHarcourt intercity passenger service.
The corporation, Sijuwade said, can now extend train service from Markurdi to Gombe, passing through Lafia, Kafranchan, kuru, Jos, Bauchi with a spur line (branch out) from Kafranchan to Kaduna.
He said this would give the needed bite and efficiency to the Port Harcourt to Enugu intercity service flagged off by the Vice President Arc Namadi Sambo last December.
On the two rail buses, and the motorised trolleys, Sijuwade said they would be used by the inspectorate division of the corporation for the inspection of certain parts of the rail network.
“These are special purpose rail vehicles that are meant to shorten our response time to challenges on our rail tracks or the signals and communication division,” he said.
He described the motorised trolleys as a useful equipment for the maintenance department adding that they now come with more comfortable seats, wind visors and diesel propelled engines and a wagon that could be used to keep work tools by the track engineers.
He described the trolleys as a departure from the pumped trolleys used by the corporation in the past, adding that with this there would be more regular maintenance of the tracks which would reduce the bottlenecks of train passengers.
He expressed the corporation’s commitment to innovate change that would bring the railway abreast with global competitiveness.