Premium Times Train Trip Lagos – Kano (Live Blog)

Join the live reports of the train ride. After decades in the doldrums, the federal government, last December, revived the Lagos – Kano train route, to ease the transportation burden across the country.

The journey averages 33 hours and, like the other major train routes in Nigeria, has witnessed an impressive patronage since it began last December.

This is the first of the many north-south train routes that would, hopefully, unite the country again – a sort of a re-amalgamation of the north and the south, a railway official told PREMIUM TIMES.

PREMIUM TIMES will join the trip on Friday (today) and bring you live accounts of the train ride from Lagos to Kano.

The main objective of this trip is to observe the teething challenges, if any, and how efficient and convenient the journey is for the passengers.

[liveblog]


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  • Olola Seun Akioye

    With you Ben its gonna be fun and funny. But you are gonna miss a lot. I did the Lagos Ilorin on the economy coach, that is where to see the real people. you should read my amazing report when you are back. BTW am logged on permanently on this blog ooo

  • Innocent

    Ben, I follow you on Facebook and I know this is going to be hilarious. Wow! What a move.

  • Tunde

    Please give us pictures from inside the the First Class and other parts of the Train. Worth a thousand words. The economy class too.

  • Lanre Ake

    Dude, are u kidding me- 33 hours u said? Come on, that’s hilarious. And did u say ‘crawling’. Of course it should be crawling to take that much while u can do London-Paris for 1hour. Gracious lord

  • Ifeanyi

    Nice job Premium Times. This is really creative storytelling. Meanwhile, the reporter is cracking my ribs with his witty updates.

  • Toi Moi

    o-o-o, so na fan be that for ceiling? No vex; at first, i thought they were fowl…good job reporter, i love Nigeria

  • Oche Ejembi

    BRILLIANT JOURNALISM!!!! Nigeria sha, they have one journey a week to make and still cant sort out the train in time. Why are they fixing a new train btw?

  • I am loving your minute by minute account..i am sat at my desk at work refreshing my system for updates and wishing i was on the train with you guys….

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    We thank God Almighty for democracy. This is what the military dictatorships denied Nigerians. By now we should have been talking about reducing the journey hours. But we are now starting from the scratch. JONATHAN IS WORKING. BOTH IN AVIATION AND RAIL TRANSPORT. Things will speak for themselves in 2015.

  • Abdul

    Oga reporter, have you gone to bed? Or network has left your phone. I can imagine. Anyway, I enjoyed your blog, will switch to my phone to follow out of the office. Safe trip.

  • olasimbo

    I m really enjoying ur report, excellent work

  • Oge

    O ben! O ben! greattttttttttt!!!!!! ur bestie.

  • Wale

    Please note you have some international followers here , i find you tale here quite riverting kindly take some pictures of the country side Thanks

  • Tope Ajets

    d part i love most:
    “Hold on a minute. Stepping off the train to confirm this is Oshogbo. Because I don’t want to say one thing now, and my Oga at the top will say it’s another thing…”

    • chidi johnfrancis

      LOL. I remember vividly. Certainly an Oga cannot be bellow. We are a blessed nation with a mix of characters

  • F.O

    This is great stuff Ben. Hilarious and eye opening. 0 degrees is pretty cold though, hope you guys dont freeze LOL!

  • Lanre

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you for this comical journey.The best Nigeria has in rail travel in 2013.

  • Factual, amusing travelogue, one of the best I have read in years; ‘more best’ when one considers the fact that it is live reporting from a ‘Nigerian train’. Well done Ben. More power to your elbow and more battery power to your micro-blogging gadget(s).

  • Henry

    In China, this train would have reached Kano, and back to Lagos, and back to Kano, since you started this journey. Nice travelogue though. This is commendable media responsibility to the society.

  • Pelu Awofeso

    You have mentioned ‘gala’ too many times, I think I am going to have to eat one later today.Well done–nice narrative voice

  • Oche Ejembi

    Look at those Yams!!! Choiii….now imagine if you could freight a trainload of those yams to Lagos..

  • Pelu Awofeso

    By the way,Ben, what book are you reading en route?

  • Cindy

    The journey has been interesting so far. Ben Ezeamalu, you are a strong man. I don’t think I can stand this trip, not to add live blogging it. You deserve a huge hug.

  • Innocent

    When Dr Goodluck Jonathan vacates Aso Rock in 2015, will this train still bear his name?

  • cima

    Wonderful travelogue. Wish I was on the train with you. All the same, I am following live!!

  • Abayomi

    Thank you Premium Times. These live reports by your reporter (which I’ve followed almost keenly for the past 18 hours) brings to mind nostalgic thoughts of my last train trip to Kano in June 1981 via the same NRC. I hope this will be the beginning of better things to come through the NRC, things like being on schedule and increase in the frequency of trips. “4 tubers of yam for N400!!!- thats classic. Well Done and please remain steadfast, I am proud of you.

  • Innocent

    A round of APPLAUSE for the reporter, Ben Ezeamalu and Premium Times. You guys kept me glued to my screen all through the expedition. I hope this expedition opens the eye of the oga at the top to the challenges of Nigeria rail system. This is 2013, no train anywhere else in the world will spend 30 hours on a similar distance. And then, the railway management should make their passengers more comfortable, for money sake.

  • lemar

    How r u getting back to Lagos or are you migrating to Kano? I will miss your gripping story telling? Big hug.

  • Mary

    All i can is Thank you Premium Times for this wonderful report. Really International standard

  • Zeenike

    I think this was just brilliant, Ben! I felt like I endured the ride with u. Abeg, carry flight come back Lag, oh, a person shouldn’t do two of this journey in the same year. I think all things being equal it was an uncomfortable journey, not my cuppa at all, but not that that that terrible, u know?

  • Abuhanifah

    You journalist are just marvellous. Even though I don’t have enough time to read all through both the live blogs and comments, I am really impressed by the blogging and comments perused so far. “e go beta for naija”.It is quite a fun trip. Keep up the good work and with determination and fervent prayers we will overcome our present difficulties as a nation. Nigerians are wonderful. well done.

  • La creme

    Did anyone else notice or just me that his ticket reads N59.70 whereas he paid N2,890.
    “For the records, I’m travelling on the FIRST CLASS A/C. So I’ve had to cough out a whooping N2,890. ‘Whooping’ because my ticket says ‘Lagos Terminus to Kano. A/C 1st Class. Fare N59.70.’” Naija shaaa, I dey hail!!

    • GO

      What do you expect? This how corruption start. The fixed price was meant to be N59.70, but for some reason they charge N2,890. Along the way, someone we get to pocket the difference without question asked.

  • Es3

    At least after decades of not working during the times of the ‘tiger’ and ‘lions’ in leadership, the trains have started working when the ‘abuse object’ “is driving the train”?! When the new coaches ordered from General Electric arrive, we will look to better comfort in service!
    At least, now the average Nigerian can move from Lagos to Kano, not on loaded trailers and trucks again to minimise cost, but with a bit of convenience on health and pockets!!!
    For the one that is comparing Chinese trains to ours, please note that even US is yet to achieve the Chinese speed!

  • Solomon

    I really enjoyed your report. Where in the world do they sell alcohol and spirit in the train or public transport?! But I blv it is a process and I hope they are learning.

  • GO

    I really appreciate this brand of journalism. It was incisive, full of wit, and hard core reporting.

  • Sadiq Garba

    You must have catch fun on this trip. I’ll try it the other way round (Kano – Lagos)