nigeria\s new train offers a long strange and welcomed trip
Last Updated : GMT 13:00:00
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Nigeria\'s new train offers a long, strange and welcomed trip

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Nigeria\'s new train offers a long, strange and welcomed trip

Abuja - AFP

Before his 30-hour train journey to northern Nigeria began, David Adedamola had been excited to ride the just-revived service, but after half a day of creaking and rattling, he was craving a drink. In December, the colonial-era track between Lagos in the south, Nigeria\'s largest city, and Kano, the second city some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) to the north, re-opened after having been defunct for decades. It is part of plans by Nigeria\'s National Rail Corporation to revive train travel across Africa\'s most populous country, using both the tracks laid by the British while building new lines. The country\'s decrepit roads are among the most dangerous in the world, with passenger vehicles and lorries often involved in deadly collisions or attacked by highway bandits. Travel between Nigeria\'s southern and northern hubs is key to commerce, but also retains symbolic significance in a country split between a mainly Christian south and mostly Muslim north. A recent 37-hour train ride from Lagos to Kano was a hot, crowded and sometimes frustrating journey, but it was nonetheless welcomed by Nigerians who were finally seeing a service provided by their government. Much of the country\'s vast oil wealth has been squandered through decades of corruption. At the Iddo station in Lagos, ticket purchasing was hectic, with passengers who had never before travelled by train in Nigeria uncertain about prices and routes. Adedamola, a 41-year-old accountant heading to the third last stop on the Kano line, Kaduna city, secured an \"executive sleeper cabin\" for the trip expected to take twice as long as the bus. The bare cell of a cabin included a narrow bunk-bed without pillows, a chair and a non-flushing toilet, and as night approached on the first day of the stop-and-go journey the cheery accountant\'s nerves had started to fray. \"I think I need to see what the bar looks like,\" he told AFP, returning to his cabin moments later, clutching a can of drinks. On most Fridays since the service re-opened, the rail corporation\'s director of operations, Niyi Alli, has gone to Iddo to oversee the midday departure of the Lagos-Kano train, because, he said, \"this is our flagship line.\" Alli told AFP he was confident Nigerians will turn back to rail, a once dominant means of travel. \"I don\'t want to talk about the state of our roads,\" he said. Trains are \"a cheaper, safer option.\" Despite waves of deadly sectarian violence in parts of the religiously divided central states and an insurgency in the north, Alli said there is still \"a massive migration of people in both directions on a daily basis.\" For the vast majority of those travelling by train, the 10,000 naira ($63, 50 euros) sleeper cabin was too costly, and despite the frustrations Adedamola faced in the executive cabin, those in the cheaper cars endured worse. An air-conditioner breakdown in one of the first class cars sparked raucous protests from those wondering why they had paid $18 to sweat for 37 hours when those who spent $12 in the economy class were provided with a cooled car. Economy passenger Bamidele Ibrahim, a 51-year-old mother of two, was doing her best to cope with the conditions. With a wide and bright smile, she said she was disgusted by the state of the toilets, charging the cleaning staff with failing \"to do their work.\" She was headed to Kaduna and had resigned herself to a sleepless trip on a thinly cushioned bench in a train prone to significant and unpredictable gyrations. \"In this chair?\" she said, when asked if she expected to get some sleep before reaching Kaduna, where she moved from Lagos after getting married some 25 years ago. The train was half-full at departure but gradually filled with each stop, so that by nightfall of the first day it had become difficult to move between cars, with both luggage and people heaped throughout the aisles. For many of those who boarded later on the route, their tickets had been rendered useless as all the seats had been occupied. Many complained, but Elizabeth Bukay, 37, who purchased a first class ticket in the southern city of Ibadan, decided to spend the night on a white plastic chair in the bar rather than fight for her seat. The dress-maker and single mother of three was headed to her home in Niger state and, the seat mishap aside, she said anything was better than the bus. Road travel \"used to make me throw up,\" she explained. She shared a drink with a raucous crowd that had gathered around her table: sweetened and fizzy palm wine mixed with bottled Guinness export, sweeter and stronger than the draught version. \"It\'s a nice combination,\" she said, from the chair where she remained seated the following morning. The trip to Kano had been advertised at roughly 26 hours, but after an overnight derailment involving another train and various other unexplained delays, the journey came to an end 36 hours and 47 minutes after it began. It was after midnight, and passengers disembarking at Kano who did not have a private car waiting were told to sleep on the platform as the public buses would not return until morning. Soyinka Abiodun, a police officer on board, perhaps spoke for the group shortly before the train approached its final stop. \"The journey is becoming boring,\" he said.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

nigeria\s new train offers a long strange and welcomed trip nigeria\s new train offers a long strange and welcomed trip

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

nigeria\s new train offers a long strange and welcomed trip nigeria\s new train offers a long strange and welcomed trip

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village

GMT 03:12 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi

GMT 06:31 2017 Friday ,17 November

Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi
Arab Today, arab today Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career

GMT 06:46 2017 Sunday ,19 November

Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck

GMT 02:59 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”

GMT 12:22 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 06:13 2017 Friday ,17 November

Pope denounces healthcare inequality

GMT 05:18 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Boeing announces $27bn from flydubai

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday