FG To Extend Rail Link By 2,815km

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FG To Extend Rail Link By 2,815km

Postby Richard Akindele » Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:02 pm

The government is set to construct over 2,815 kilometres of additional rail link nationwide.

By Bukola Ojeme

The routes include Onne-Port; Kano-Kastina; Kaura-Namoda-Sokoto (extension); Otukpo-Ajaokuta, West East railway (Ibadan-Ife-Ilesha-Akure-Owo-Benin-Onitsha-Enugu) to Tin Can Island; Ajaokuta-Warri; Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Ore and over the River Niger bridge.

The Teamgroup, an Italian firm, has been appointed as project consultant.

It will do the feasibility study, traffic study, topographic survey, preliminary design, evaluation of tenders, land acquisition, detailed design, working drawings and supervise the work.

Officials of the company had in February accompanied Minister of Transport, Abiye Sekibo, on an inspection of rail lines in the North-South axis.

Directors in the ministry, including Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Abdulrahaman Abubakar, were also on the entourage.

Teamgroup website says the rail link to Onne Port, near Port Harcourt, will run from the existing narrow gauge to Elelenwon where it will connect the Port Harcourt Refinery, petrochemical plant, fertiliser factory and the lighter terminal.

That of Itakpe to Ajaokuta and Warri will facilitate the transportation of iron ore from the Itakpe mine to Ajaokuta and Delta steel plants and for coal haulage from Warri to Ajaokuta.

The website explained that “a double track railway bridge would be constructed over the River Niger in steel – concrete composite structure.

“To achieve the best techno-economic solution, other two alternatives – steel structure and concrete structure solutions – would be designed before reaching the final mixed solution�.

Sekibo said “the rehabilitation of the existing rail network is cheaper and feasible because what we will be spending in constructing new ones would be huge.

“To construct a new rail network would cost about $35 billion to 50 billion whereas that of rehabilitation is estimated to cost about $3 billion to $4 billion�.
Richard Akindele
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