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Here are 5 things to know about Lagos’ Red Line Rail project

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the Red Line Rail Project on February 29 2024, a major infrastructure development aimed at improving transportation within Lagos.

Here are 5 things to know about the new Lagos’ Red Line Rail project

1. Linking the city

The Red Line isn’t just another train track; it’s envisioned as a crucial link in Lagos’ larger rail network, connecting the city to the Lagos-Ibadan corridor. Spanning 37 kilometers, it shares its right-of-way with the existing Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway. But for now, the initial operational route stretches from Agbado in Ogun State to Oyingbo in Lagos, making key stops in major areas like Ikeja, Oshodi, and Yaba.

2. A hefty price tag for urban mobility

The Red Line is a significant investment in Lagos’ transportation future. While initial estimates pegged the cost at $135 million under the Greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project, Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed that the combined cost of both the Red and Blue Lines could exceed ₦100 billion.

Funding remains a challenge, as evidenced by the delays in the Blue Line project, originally slated for completion in 2011.

3. Attending to about 500,000 passengers each day 

The Red Line is spearheaded by LAMATA, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, operating under the Ministry of Transportation. Once fully operational, it’s expected to offer 37 daily trips, catering to an estimated 500,000 passengers. The key goals are to reduce commute times, improve air quality by reducing traffic congestion, and ultimately, boost economic productivity.

4. Diesel powering the Red engine

Unlike the electric-powered Blue Line, the Red Line utilizes a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) system. This means individual train cars are equipped with their own diesel engines, offering flexibility and efficient operation based on the project’s specific needs.

5. Investment in safety

Beyond the train tracks themselves, the Red Line project has invested heavily in safety and passenger experience. This includes constructing 10 vehicular overpasses and pedestrian bridges, ensuring the safe separation of train traffic from car and pedestrian movement.