Port Harcourt- Aba Train Services To Commence By End Of March, Says FG

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Train services on the Port Harcourt – Aba route will commence by the end of March.

Managing Director, of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria on Saturday said the Federal Government was determined to make that possible.

Mr. Okhiria was in Port Harcourt this weekend leading a delegation to test-run the reconstruction of the Eastern Narrow Gauge Rail Line.

Mr. Okhiria explained that workers were still putting the finishing touches on the tracks.

The current effort of the workers, he said, was to ensure that full train operation begins within March

“I am impressed with what I saw today, especially being able to ride the locomotive and wagon on the tracks.

“Last time we visited, we could not use the train because the contractor said it was not proper to run on the train due to imbalance of the tracks.

“The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has directed that the Port Harcourt route be connected to rail as well as initiate the linkage of Onne Port.

“We are pushing the contractor to make the track safe by deploying semi-automatic signaling of the machine points rather than manual operation.

“Despite resource challenges, the contractors are doing their best, and our goal is to achieve this within the next two weeks.

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“With this, we aim to commence passenger train services, hopefully within March, and fully resume transporting people from Port Harcourt to Aba by the end of March.

“The initial design has been done and handed over to us. We look at it, make corrections, and seek approval. Once approved, work will commence.

“Additionally, we will assess the conditions of the roads with the intent to cover at least 50 percent of the road costs.

“The government is working with relevant security agencies to ensure adequate security of the rain line and the linkage of security devices from the trains to the control room.

“Communities should protect what the government is putting in place for us. We are striving to ensure that people who come on the train are safe,” he said.

The Port Harcourt-Aba rail project is part of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railroad project that was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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