Rainfall disrupts train movement in Lagos, leaves commuters stranded

Heavy rainfall on Thursday in Lagos washed out a portion of train tracks leaving commuters on the Lagos Mass Transit Train service (MTTS) disappointed as the train could not run.

The MTTS operates between Ido in Lagos State and Ijoko in Ogun, covering a 35-km distance on each trip.

The train service has become popular with traders and workers living along its path, as the fare is a quarter of what buses charge on the route.

The commuters on Thursday appealed to the management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to find a lasting solution to the vexed issue of rain and flood, washing off railway tracks.

Some of the disappointed train commuters stated that since heavy rainfall and flooding had been predicted for the year, the management of the NRC should have taken proactive measures to cope with the situation.

They wondered if the long distance train services – from Lagos to Kano – which the NRC claimed would begin soon, would experience such disruptions.

A civil servant, Francis Onyekwere, who resides at the Ota Toll Gate area and works on Lagos Island, said that he was disappointed when he got to know of the disruption in railway services.

“I was disappointed when I got to the Agbado Station by 5 a.m. and found that the train ticket sellers were not there. I waited a little more thinking that the rain could have been the cause of their coming late.

“I felt bad when 40 minutes later I was informed that the train was not merely delayed, but would not be coming at all because the rain had affected the tracks,” Mr. Onyekwere said.

Toyin Hassan observed  that the roads in Metropolitan Lagos were crowded today because the trains could not run.

Mr. Hassan said he had to pay highly for a commercial motorcyclist (okada) to bring him to Oshodi as he could not wait for bus because of the huge crowd waiting near his Kola Railway station.

“Can you imagine I  paid N400 from Agbado to Oshodi by riding okada because I did not want to go back home or remain in the long traffic jam witnessed here today due to heavy rain and flooding along the axis?”

The NRC District Public Relations Officer (DPRO) in Lagos, Ademuyiwa Adekanbi, confirmed that the trains could not operate in the morning due to the washout caused by the flooding along the Ikeja/Mushin axis.

Mr. Adekanbi said that the track engineers of the NRC were already at the washout site and hopefully, would solve the problem and restore train services soon




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