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Lagos Unveils Ambitious Red Line Rail Project to Transform Urban Transportation

By William Emmanuel Ukpoju

In a bid to revolutionize urban transportation, Lagos, Nigeria, has unveiled its highly anticipated Red Line rail project. The ambitious 37-kilometer North-South route is set to connect Agbado in Ogun State to Marina, featuring 13 strategically located stations along the way.

Unlike its electric-powered counterpart, the Blue Line, the Red Line will utilize a diesel-powered system known as the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU). This innovation aims to enhance efficiency and accommodate the transportation needs of approximately 500,000 passengers, facilitating an impressive 37 trips daily.

Managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the project represents a significant milestone in the city’s transportation infrastructure. Initial estimates projected the Red Line’s cost at $135 million under the Greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project. However, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the combined costs of both the Blue and Red Lines would surpass N100 billion.

The construction of the Red Line project was entrusted to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), underlining international collaboration in Nigeria’s infrastructure development.

The inception of a rapid transit system in Lagos can be traced back to 1983 when the visionary Alhaji Lateef Jakande conceived the Lagos Metroline network during the Second Nigerian Republic. However, the initial Metroline project faced setbacks and was ultimately scrapped in 1985, incurring significant financial losses.

In 2003, Governor Bola Tinubu reignited hopes for a rail network in Lagos with a formal announcement of its construction, marking a pivotal moment in the city’s transportation history.

Following the commissioning of the Red Line, President Tinubu is scheduled to embark on a two-day official visit to the State of Qatar at the invitation of His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar. This visit underscores the growing importance of international partnerships in Nigeria’s development agenda.

The Red Line rail project represents a transformative endeavour poised to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance connectivity within Lagos and its environs, heralding a new era of urban mobility in Nigeria’s commercial city.