Lagos rail lines begin commercial operations 2023 – Sanwo-Olu
The two rail projects (Blue and Red Lines) being constructed by the Lagos State government will flag off commercial operations in the first quarter of 2023.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this on Saturday after inspecting the project sites in company of members of his cabinet.
Completion date for the Blue Line in particular has been shifted several times, and Lagosians are hoping that the 2023 new date fixed by the current administration would become a reality.
The rail line was conceived and started by the former administration of Babatunde Fashola (now minister of works and housing), more than 10 years ago.
Speaking to journalists after inspecting the work being done by the contractors handling the projects, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration has demonstrated commitment to the Blue and Red line rail lines in the last two years and sure to deliver them before the end of his tenure in 2023. Sanwo-Olu’s first term in office terminates on May 29, 2023.
According to him, extensive work has commenced on the Red rail line at the Ikeja iconic station which is the meeting point of the project.
The Blue line is conceived to run from Okokomaiko, on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway to Mile 2- through an elevated line crossing the Iganmu lagoon to Marina on Lagos Island. On the other hand, the Red line is expected to run from Agbado through Oyingbo to Iddo on Lagos Mainland.
The governor said construction works on the projects were ongon, adding that the iconic Marina station for the Blue Line was unique because it is an elevated station for multipurpose to harbour bus station and ferry services.
“They have started the decking; there is also a pedestrian walk for people with disabilities. Underneath, there will be a bus station for BRT for First and the Last Miles buses. There is also ferry service adjourning the Marina station, this will move up to the State House. That is the summary of the massive architecture that is going on.
“We are excited because we can see the number of Nigerians that are working here. I think here in Marina alone, we have over 1000 workers. Part of the things we have been telling our contractors is that we need to have proper skills transfer.
“We will be working with LASU, UNILAG and Yabatech, where we will be having engineering students that will have a feel of what rail construction is all about. They will come and see the bridge, road and rail construction as a learning tool, so that they can see how these are being done. So our contractors can take them as interns. There are few hiccups but we believe we will surmount them.
“So we are still on track, last quarter of 2022 by the grace of God or first quarter 2023, you will begin to see your trains moving on these two corridors,’’ the governor said.