I might not remember the last time I took a journey through Nigeria Railway system, may be when I was a kid, don't be surprised, this is the same ordeal for majority of Nigerians, especially the old folks who experienced life at its peak during the past six (6) decades and above.
Life was at its peak for Nigerians when Nigeria was the giant of Africa, when minds were not corrupted, when Saudi Arabians used to come down to the country and seek for medical diagnosis, when there was no separation between scholarship and education, when Nigeria remained the major export of oil and diesel in the whole of Africa, when cocoa farming was at its peak and used judiciously to build Universities, roads and buildings such as cocoa house in ibadan and when things were truly working well and in the way it ought to be.
Specifically, majority of those who were born in Nigeria in the past four decades and below might not have board a train before throughout their entire life, not because there was none in the country but the functionality in terms of the basic amenities which a good railway system should have were lacking and that is one of the things which distracted people's attention totally from the railway system and government had to put a stop to it in 1988 precisely.
My Boarding Experience with the new Railway System
Recently, the current government renovated the Lagos - Ibadan, Ibadan - Abuja railway system in order to put the railway system at work again, and this gesture is expected to go round the country, as such many people are happy that they will soon witness their first ever train ride in the country again, especially among the young folks, it also rekindled the spirit of train transportation system among the old folks who might have experienced it prior to its suspension in 1988.
Unlike road system , Ibadan-Lagos railway station has a standard gauge rail covering a total distance of 156km within two hours from Moniya terminus in Ibadan to Yaba terminus in Lagos.
The curiosity to witness the changes in the railway system and to join my long awaiting train ride in the country made me to depart my home on Sunday, December 26th, 2021 as early as possible in-order to meet up with the railway system time-table, precicely 8: 00.am schedule. I got the ticket, not long I arrived at the station and guess how much, just #2,600 equivalent to $5, even though the money was later cancelled by the government as a complement of the season bonus till January 4th, 2022. The ticket is shown below
Before we enter into the train, there was a little delay and all of us were panic, we are suppose to start the journey at exactly 8:00 am. as scheduled for that day which happened to be Sunday, after a while, the manager had to address the passengers and he made the announcement that there will be a little delay in before we take off the journey and the delay is due to the fact that some of the elements of railway gauges had been removed and failure to replace those elements before embarking on the journey might result to accident, basically there are four different types of rail gauges, namely: Narrow gauge, Broad gauge, , Standard gauge (for Delhi Metro), and Meter Gauge and the one adopted here in my cpuntry is shown in the image below
The Rail gauge as shown above can be referred to as a clear minimum vertical distance between the inner sides of the two tracks on any railway path. Although further investigation revealed the fact almost 60 percentage (60%) of the world's railway system uses standard gauge of 1,435 mm.
The Train Facilities
It will not be appreciative enough not to mention the new facilities put in place to ensure people enjoy their journey:
The new train system has a good toilet system facility, well tidy and clean as shown in the image captured below
- Air Conditioning System
During the journey, we had full air conditioning system, unlike those days when the train used to be supported with open window to receive outer air and no fixed air conditioning system (AC). It was a splendid journey indeed.
- A fixed socket connection
Unlike those days where there is no fixed socket connection where one may plug electronic gadgets, the new train system incorporated a fixed socket connection within the train system, there were also fixed ten (10) inch television sets to entertain the passengers, as well as security cameras were also mounted in the cabin. A provision for overhead load cabins was also put in place and many more.
The criteria to be checked before boarding a train
No doubt we are in covid-19 period, it is part of the criteria by the courteous NRC officials to check for the passenger's covid-19 status and every passenger must put on their face mask along with the identification card which may be an international passport, work ID, voter card or national ID were all made compulsory before buying a ticket at the counter.
The journey was a comfortable ride and I enjoyed Nigeria Railway System again since it was suspended as far back as 1988.
Railway transport system is a preferred transportation mode to road travel transportation because of its many benefits: like traffic free, no potholes, no police checkpoints, and no fear of running into kidnappers and the bandits who are taking advantage of Nigeria’s poor roads system. For now it is convenient and safe but without good maintenance it may turn otherwise later.
Thank you for being with me during my tour through railwal transport system, a case study of Nigeria Railway System. Enjoy yourself, travel and catch fun during this holiday.
It is always good to be good and don't forget to carry more of good deeds with you. Bye for now