NRC Acquires New Locomotives, Machines
In line with the transformation drive of President Goodluck Jonathan to effectively resuscitate the railway transport subsector, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has procured some new equipment including container traffic train, four new locomotives and two telescopic 100-tonnes cranes, which according to it, will enhance its operations and service to Nigerians.
Managing Director of NRC, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, in his address at the recent inauguration of the machines at the Apapa port, explained that the container traffic train facilities would enhance train haulage services, thereby reducing carnage on the road caused majorly by trucks.
He noted that the 4 locomotives acquired, known as the 23-class locomotives, which would be used for the goods and passenger train services would enhance the corporation quest to take its services to a new level, adding that the two telescopic 100-tonnes railway cranes, will help immensely in emergency situations on the tracks, as experts from China and Germany will arrive Nigeria soon to train the operators on how to efficiently handle the sophisticated cranes.
According to him, the NRC partnership with APM Terminal and Inland Land Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL) in Kaduna to haul containers from Apapa port to Kaduna/Kano depots is a testament of the effectiveness of the public private partnership (PPP) policy of the federal government, and also the corporation efforts to reduce the burden on the road occasioned by the haulage of containers by trucks.
Continuing, Sijuwade, who expressed satisfaction on the newly acquired equipment, said: “The acquisition of these new facilities is part of the federal government’s sustained drive to transform the nation’s socio-economic development through a strong and formidable rail transport system.
“We are today demonstrating our ability in expanding our horizon and service level with the commencement of this train-load of 20 container wagons from Apapa Wharf to Kaduna/Kano for the ICNL.”
He said NRC had recently signed contract with major firms in the areas of container haulage train services, and disclosed that the corporation was also partnering Connect Rail Limited from Greenview Development Nigeria limited APM Terminal and the Inland Containers Nigerian Limited.
Sijuwade assured Nigerians of the corporation’s unflinching determination to ensure maximum service from the corporation, just as he hailed the immense support of the Jonathan administration for the massive investment in the rail transport sub sector.
His words: “Container train services were suspended over ten years ago due to our poor infrastructure. With the support from the federal government and the National Assembly, directives of the Transport Minister, and oversight of our board members, the NRC is, more than ever before, contributing to the economic growth and development of the country.
“We are confident that with a stronger railway involvement in the evacuation of imported cargo, the impact of road trucks on the roads would be mitigated.
“I am delighted to inform you that, we will soon commence the haulage of sugar, salt and other consumable products for Dangote Nigeria Limited with the service collaboration of Connect Rail Limited. Other services expected to commence later include the haulage of Lafarge Cement in pallets using flat wagons (CBXs).
“Also, haulage of diesel for Connect Rail will commence next month to be followed by that for Total Petroleum. In the same vein, ballast movement for CCECC from Sanusi to Apapa will commence soon and ballast for CRCC will be hauled from Apapa Quays to the wagon Assembly depot in Apapa.”
Giving an insight into the workings of the new locomotives, Sijuwade said: “The four locomotives acquired are self-loaded with on-board computer, double drivers’ panel with fully air-conditioned cabins. The engine in each of the locomotives is Caterpillar’s 1800HP model 3512B engine with capability of a design speed of 100Kmph.”
Also speaking, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, expressed satisfaction with the newly procured equipment, applauded the partnership entered into by the corporation.
Umar, who was represented by NRC Chairman, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, said “Today’s celebration is very significant because the corporation is embarking on the haulage service of containers from APM Terminal in Apapa Port to Kaduna and Kano which I strongly believe will help boost NRC’s re-entry and participation in the freight market share traffic from the ports.” He assured Nigerians of Jonathan’s commitment to assist the corporation to achieve maximum efficiency and output in its service delivery to the country.
While explaining that the federal government will embark on the procurement of new tanks to supplement the 20 light oil pressurised tanks wagons earlier delivered to the corporation, the minister said: “In no distant time, the federal government will procure 30 tank wagons to strengthen the 20 light oil pressurised tank wagons earlier delivered to the corporation; and two sets of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), each with 68-seater modern coaches.
“The DMUs will be deployed for passenger train services in the cities where congestion remains a major challenge”, he added.