Photo l-r: Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, directly behind him: Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hazmat; Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo and Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi during the test run of the Red Line Train at the Ikeja Train Station, on Saturday, 24 February 2024.

Sanwo-Olu tests run Red Line Train, inspects rail facilities ahead of commissioning

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 …Takes 15mins trip from Ikeja to Iju, says all stations completed

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l-r: Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, directly behind him: Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hazmat; Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo and Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi during the test run of the Red Line Train at the Ikeja Train Station, on Saturday, 24 February 2024.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Saturday, took a test run of the Red Line train, inspecting the tracks and the rail corridors for another time ahead of the of next Thursday formal commissioning of Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) infrastructure.

The 37-kilometre rail line, built by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), will be inaugurated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, along with its stations and other ancillary facilities. The Red Line traverses seven stations from Agbado, a boundary town in Ogun State, to Oyingbo in Lagos Central.

Sanwo-Olu took journalists on a train ride from the Ikeja Mega Station of the Red Line in a last-minute effort to make the infrastructure ready for opening.

Joining the Governor on the ride was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State cabinet.

The Red Line train, which left the garage track for the first time since it was delivered, departed from Ikeja Mega Station at exactly 2:23pm, moving steadily towards Agbado Station.

Six minutes later, the passengers arrived at Agege Station. The journey proceeded to Iju Station, arriving at 2:38pm — 15 minutes after leaving Ikeja.

While on board, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy moved along the coaches in a bid to ascertain the conditions the train’s cars — a set of Talgo wagons built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the United States.

Some of the comfort facilities inspected by the Governor included the train’s cooling system, handrails, cushioned seats and in-built safety features of the wagons.

After the inspection, Sanwo-Olu said the train line was ready for commissioning, but added that there would be continuous enforcement to clear the train path of unapproved activities.

He said: “We just completed another inspection of the Red Rail Line facility and corridor; now we are back in Ikeja Mega Station. We all have just used the train to Iju and back. I’m sure our media men can fully report what we all witnessed in the course of the short journey. This rail infrastructure is ready for inauguration, but we still have a few cleaning to do.

“The challenge we have is the pedestrian interference on the rail track and unapproved activities seen along the corridor. We will continue with the enforcement we started against illegal use of the rail corridor. We are in talks with NRC (Nigeria Railway Corporation) to reinforce the train route with physical barriers to limit pedestrian interference.”

The Governor urged the State’s residents to adhere to the rules of using the rail line, noting that infrastructure was not built for commercial activities.

The train operation, Sanwo-Olu said, would be regular and trips would be made in every 15 minutes. He said it was necessary to eliminate incidents that could result in fatality along the track.

“We have reduced human interference on the track considerably over the last two months, but enforcement continues. The stations are ready, the trains are ready and I believe Lagosians are ready to welcome this new infrastructure built for their use and benefit,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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