The Nigeria Railway Corporation has suspended the Lagos-Kano train operations for two weeks following the collapse of the Tatabu Bridge in the Mokwa Local Government Area of Niger State after a heavy rainfall, which affected the rail line.
The Managing Director, NRC, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, stated this in Lagos, adding that the two-week break was to enable the corporation to erect a temporary bridge along the affected rail track that would facilitate the movement of trains.
He said the temporary bridge being moved from the Ibadan railway station would arrive at the Tatabu site today (Monday) along with other materials such as ballast and granite from Lagos for the repair work.
He stated that an emergency team that would fix the problem had been assembled, with some track officers and engineers already at the site to assess the situation and begin some preliminary work.
The Tatabu Bridge collapsed on June 11 after a heavy rainfall that led to the washout of some portions of the rail track. This also affected a major road linking the North to the South-West as well as some residential buildings and farmlands in the area.
Okhiria said the damaged parts of the track, stretching about 300 metres, were at different spots within the area.
“The cause of this disaster is not really known yet as this is being investigated; but from experience, it is usually as a result of the overflow of a dam. I don’t see the level of the downpour that can cause that damage,” he said.
He put the total loss by the corporation during the shutdown of its operations in the area at N50m.
According to him, the corporation has had to appeal to its customers for their understanding due to its failure to transport their goods.
Okheria said the corporation would work very hard to get the bridge ready for the Lagos-Kano train service to resume in two weeks.
“We are going to construct a temporary bridge that will cost us about N5m. Some of our men, including engineers, are already at the site. The train bringing emergency materials from Lagos will arrive at the site on Monday (today) for proper work to commence,” he said.
He stated that the NRC could only do a remedial work, adding that the major reconstruction of the bridge would be done later by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation.
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