The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), North Eastern District, says it will construct a five kilometer rail line from Bauchi to Inkil along the Bauchi-Gombe road for children’s excursion train services.
Mr Aliyu Mainasara, the newly posted Railway District Manager (RDM) in charge of the district, said this during a media interactive session on Monday in Bauchi.
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He said that the eastern district had not run a single train in the last seven years due to challenges posed by insecurity and vandalism of its track.
Mainasra said the district was also faced with a lack of functional tracks to move the locomotive but believed all would be taken care of.
He described the award of the Eastern Line contract by the Federal Government from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri as a welcome development.
He said that since the project would start from Port Harcourt, and not in segments as many had anticipated, the district would initiate other projects while waiting for it to get to Bauchi.
“We have competent engineers and heads of departments in the North Eastern District and l don’t believe l will just sit in the office as a district manager but will start to think outside the box,” he said.
The Manager said that upon his assumption of duty, he led engineers and management staff to inspect the tracks for accessibility.
He identified the collapsed culverts as the major challenge, adding that the major contracts that cannot be handled at the district had been communicated to the headquarters.
“On our own, we can do something.
The engineers have started working on a track from Bauchi to Inkil about five kilometres, where we can be able to run an excursion train,” he said.
He also said that a railbus, which was abandoned for over 20 years, was fixed as soon as he assumed duty in the past two months, adding that it would be used as the excursion train for children.
He said engineers in the district would also inspect and work on the track with the aim of expanding its scope of services to Alkaleri, in Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state.
“The moment we fix the tracks up to Alkaleri, believe me, we will start to run our trains,” he said
The Manager, therefore, urged stakeholders to support the initiative of the North-East District office of the corporation with credible information to ensure effective surveillance and protection of the tracks.