The Federal Government is currently carrying out feasibility studies on the construction of 10 new standard gauge rail lines across the country.
According to the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the standard gauge rail lines will cover a travelling distance of over 3,421 kilometres when completed.
It further stated that the various rail lines would pass through Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Benin, Abuja, Kogi, Onitsha and Sokoto, among other states.
The corporation disclosed this in its latest Rail Development Plan report that was obtained by our correspondent from the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja on Sunday.
The NRC outlined the 10 new standard gauge rail routes where feasibility studies were being carried out as the 300km Lagos-Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Ore-Benin City East-West rail line; Lagos-Ibadan-Osogbo-Baro-Abuja high speed 615km line; Ajaokuta (Eganyin)-Obajana-Jakura-Baro-Siraj-Abuja rail, with additional line from Ajaokuta to Otukpo (533km); and the 520km Zaria-Kaura Namoda-Sokoto-Ileila-Birnin Koni in Niger Republic.
Others are the Benin-Agbor-Onitsha-Nnewi-Owerri-Aba rail, with additional line from Onitsha-Enugu-Abakaliki, 500km; Eganyin (near Ajaokuta)-Lokoja-Abaji-Abuja, 280km; Benin-Sapele-Warri-Yenagoa-Port Harcourt-Aba-Uyo-Calabar-Akampa-Ikom-Obudu Cattle Ranch coastal rail line, 673km; Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Enugu-Makurdi-Lafia-Kuru-Bauchi-Gombe-Biu-Maiduguri line; Ikom-Obudu-Ogoja-Katsina Ala-Wukari-Jalingo-Yola-Maiduguri line; and the Kano-Nguru-Gusau-Damaturu-Maiduguri-Gamborugala rail line.
In its report, the NRC stated that the construction and rehabilitation of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri standard gauge line project was nearing completion.
It recalled the construction of the Abuja (Idu)-Kaduna standard gauge rail had earlier been completed and train operations commenced.
The corporation noted that the groundbreaking for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge (double track) 2 x 180km rail line project, awarded to the CCECC, was done earlier this year, adding that work had commenced on the site following the conclusion of its funding arrangement.
It, however, stated that paucity of funds was a key challenge to the projects, adding that the government required more funds to complete the rehabilitation of the Western and Eastern lines, carry out addendum for sidings and loop lines on the Western line, procure and rehabilitate locomotives and rolling stock, as well as for the procurement of maintenance equipment.
It said more funds were needed for complete modernisation projects, as well as for the rehabilitation and construction of links to the sea, rivers and airports.
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