Test run of Lagos Blue rail project to start in December, says Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that a test run of the Blue Line train service will start in late December 2022 as the state government is committed to delivering the project before the year ends.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday at the celebration of the launch of the last T-beam for the blue line rail mass transit project. He added that the two trains bought in China for the project will arrive in Lagos in October.

The governor said that his administration is committed to the citizens to see that the project is completed on time, especially as it will continue to meet deadlines.

He further said that his administration is on a journey and not just making promises but working to ensure that the trains’ commercial operation starts in the first quarter of 2023 as earlier promised.

For the governor, the launch of the last T-beam is historical because it signposts that the blue rail line project would be delivered on schedule.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the T-beam that was launched on Wednesday was the 984th T-beam for the Blue line rail project.

The governor said there are plans to discuss with his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun, on extending the Blue line rail project to Agbara from Okokomaiko.

In her welcome address, the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, said the Blue Line project, a 27-kilometer rail line from Okokomaiko to Marina, has been one of the most difficult projects the Lagos State Government has embarked upon given the many challenges it has had to overcome.

“To get to this point, we have had disturbances and delays in the relocation of submarine cables, submarine natural gas pipelines, and removal of underground ship wreckages. The submarine geological conditions are complex, thus making construction in the lagoon extremely difficult.

“On a number of times, barges have collided with the trestle supporting our construction activities while the outbreak of Covid19 epidemic and the long transportation cycle of imported equipment and materials have contributed to delays in the prompt completion of the rail project.”

She stated that the final T-beam launch indicated that the state is gradually inching toward the completion of the civil infrastructure for the first four phases of the Blue line from Mile 2 to Marina.

“To get to this point, we have completed 1967 pile foundations, 306 platforms, 310 piers, 267 cover beams, fabrication and erection of 984 T-beams.

“We are currently, with the support of Mr. Governor, retrofitting the train stations at Mile 2, Alaba, Iganmu, and National Theatre in readiness for passenger operation in the first quarter of 2023. During a recent visit of Mr. Governor and his team to the Blue line, we demonstrated the ability to scale up the use of our Cowry card as the payment option for rail services.

“The essence is to ensure that we have a single payment platform for all regulated public transport services in Lagos State.

“To show the commitment of Mr. Governor to seeing Blue Line start operation, new sets of trains have been ordered in addition to the train set on the ground in Lagos. We expect the new train sets to arrive in Lagos very soon.”

Source: The Guardian

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