Monday, August 16, 2010

Nigerian Rail Freight Set For Revival

Ambitious Plans to Rejuvenate Network
Shipping News Feature

NIGERIA - Works are underway to modernise much of the country’s rail system by the century old Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) who have a monopoly and manage the 4300 kilometres of track. With Federal Government support various projects are underway including standard gauge lines between Ajaokuta – Warri and Kaduna - Abuja (Idu) to relieve some of the congestion from Nigeria’s crumbling road infrastructure.

This week the Corporation has announced plans to take 12,000 tonnes of cement, currently carried by trucks from Ashaka in Benue state and Ewekoro in Ogun state and they have allocated two locomotives for the purpose. The NRC have received the bulk of the order placed with GE Transportation of Brazil for 25 new Model C25 six-axle locomotives as part of their modernisation programme.

Much of the new works have been achieved with Chinese cooperation who have stepped up their assistance and redevelopment programmes in the region in the past few years. Refurbishment of the tracks between Lagos to Kano, a distance of about 488 kilometres is being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and freight trains should start pulling the cement within the next two weeks.

GE C25 Locomotive in Brazil before shipping to Nigeria with various Brazilian and Nigerian Officials.