The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on Wednesday said that work had started on the Ebute Meta new ultra-modern railway station, in line with the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge line.
Mr Yakub Mahmood, the corporation’s Deputy Director (Public Relations), disclosed this in an interview in Lagos.
He said that the contractors handling the project, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), had commenced the demolition of affected staff quarters, to give way for the modern station.
According to him, the corporation has paid the affected staff members one year rent, to assist them to secure alternative accommodation elsewhere.
“All is set for the Ebute Meta station to host the new and ultra- modern railway station.
“The station will be one of its kind in the country; it is going to be an up-to-date station, with many features going with contemporary technology.
“Though some staff quarters at Ebute-Meta have been demolished for the project, the residents have been compensated financially,’’ he said.
Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos District Manager of NRC, had said that the construction of the standard gauge rail had started fully in Lagos State following the resolution of the challenge of underground pipelines and cables.
According to him, water pipelines, cables and other underground public utility installations posed a great challenge to the execution of the work in Lagos.
“We all know that the standard gauge in the Lagos axis from Apapa to Ijoko in Ogun is on the same corridor with the narrow gauge.
“Now, so far so good, the government is serious about delivering the project on schedule and there is an increase in the pace of work.
‘’The project has been concentrated outside Lagos, like Ifo, Papalanto and Itori in Ogun, as a result of the underground cables and pipelines challenge in the city.
“But all have been resolved now and work has started fully on the axis,’’ he said.
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, had said that the new standard gauge would entice a lot of investors to the states, as a result of its efficiency and timeliness.
He said that the standard gauge rail would be efficient, reliable and faster than the present narrow gauge.
“When you spend less than an hour from Apapa to Ibadan, it would be an advantage to the users,” he added.
The minister said the new trains would run at about 100 to 150 km per hour.