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Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos will now transport 300,000 passengers per day, with a state-of-the-art, Global Positioning Sytem (GPS) based train running every five minutes, the Eko Rail Company has announced.
Eko Rail Company has begun the construction of a dual-fuel electric power generating station, modern train control system, communications and power distribution, as well as depot and maintenance facilities to accommodate the new train system.
The GPS-based trains were inspected by Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola, who endorsed the plan to purchase them following his official visit to Toronto in May 2011.
According to reports the first 100 trains have left Canada for Nigeria.
The trains will, however, make a stop in the United States where they would be rebuilt by the General Electric Company.
The trains will also undergo track-width conversion and interior renovation before being shipped to Lagos.
“The shipment of the first car is an important step in Eko Rail’s efforts to support the governor’s transformation agenda for the city.
“Ultimately, the Blue Line, with this modernised fleet, will bring massive benefits to Lagos’ economic development and improve Lagosians’ quality of life,” David Potter, Eko Rail’s chief engineer told reporters.
According to Eko Rails, the trains are equipped with air conditioning, automatic sliding doors, energy saving regenerative braking, solid-state traction control, and a wide range of modern safety features and amenities.
URS Scott Wilson, one of the world’s leading railway infrastructure consultancies, is reported to be in charge of the railway constructions to ensure that the infrastructure is built to global standards.
The project is chiefly financed by Investec Plc, financiers of more than 25 rail projects around the globe.
Negotiations are being finalised and a franchise agreement is expected to be signed in the near future.
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