Lagos Metro Rail

Lagos Metro Rail: A Detailed Exposition of the City’s Rails

If you are familiar with Lagos Metropolis, you will know its major challenge is overpopulation. This overpopulation has led to certain inconveniences like traffic congestion, lack of residential and office buildings and several others. 

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Although Lagos is known for its waterways, water travel is reserved for the elite because of its high-end rates. The average Lagos resident would prefer to be stuck in traffic rather than use the boat. So, the Lagos state government wisely focused on the abandoned railway system in Nigeria. 

In today’s article we will study the Railway system of Lagos state and the government projects going on in this system.So, if you have been curious about the new Lagos railway lines, jump on this train with us!

 The Lagos Rail Mass Transit

Have you used the railways recently? Or you still remember them as dirty coaches and overcrowded spaces? Then you are in for a big shock!

Over the years, Nigeria’s Railway system has experienced an on-going face lift process. The traffic congestion in major cities is off the charts and other channels of transportation are not available or feasible for the short trips within the cities. 

So, there was a somewhat rebound to the tracks and the joys of railway travel. In this period of rebounding, the Lagos state government refurbished its railway system and established Lagos Rail Mass Transit.

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It is a large-scale heavy rail public transport scheme that was launched in 2023. It’s rails are designed to be electrically powered and swift. Since it’s a government project, the scheme will be coordinated by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)  while its resources will be provided by private corporations.

The Mass Transit scheme was divided into two pathways: form information gathered, the Blue Line and consequently, the Red Line. The Blue line from research will be for Rapid/easy Transit while the Red Line covers the commuter rail. 

You can catch the red line from Agbado through Oshodi,Ebute metta. Alternatively, the Blue line may be your favorite line if you stay around Okokomaiko, Trade fair, Mile 2. Both lines will run from their respective starting points and meet at Marina, Lagos Island.

The Blue Line and Its Extension toward Okokomaiko

The Blue Line  was one of the first assignments of the Rail project. On paper, the line will run from Okokomaiko to Marina. Yet, lack of funds and structure due to certain political activities forced the administration to divide it into phases. The Blue line that was completed and launched in 2023, runs from Marina to Mile 2 spanning 5 completed stations and 13 kilometers. Since the line began operation in the last quarter of 2023, the government has recorded a total of 80,000 passengers.

This is actually significant progress, but the initial plan that was proposed in 2009 wanted to connect Western Lagos to the Island. Most Lagos residents stay on the mainland but work in the Island which causes terrible traffic conditions during rush hour. 

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So, plans are underway to extend the blue line to its initial destination in Okokomaiko. Areas like Okokomaiko, Ojo, Festac, Alakija are primarily residential areas while areas like iganmu, National Theater, Iddo, Lagos Harbour and Marina are the commercial districts of Lagos. The completion of the 13 stations will connect the densely populated mainland to the industrial sections of Lagos. Since it’s a government project, the rail transport will be affordable and swift. Hence, you will be more than happy to use rail transport.

The Red Line

The Red Line is another Baby project of the Lagos metro rail. While the blue line runs from West Lagos, the red line starts from Agbado in Northern Lagos (closer to Ogun state). It will cover about 37 kilometers moving from Agbado in the North to Marina, Lagos Island in the South. 

Since the Red line is purely for commuters, it will run across some pre-existing railways in Agege, Oshodi, Ikeja and several other places. These railways are managed by the Nigerian Railway Corporation. So, commuters from Ibadan and Abeokuta will also have the Lagos metro rail experience.

The Red Line began in the first quarter of 2024 but while its sister line runs on electricity, it will use Diesel. You can jump on this rail from Agbado, Iju, Agege, pass through Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba and stop at its Oyingbo terminal. Like the blue line, its path will be extended to its final destination at Marina. 

The rail system has intersections between the red and blue lines. So, you could easily move from Northern Lagos to Western Lagos with ease.  The intersections enhances the appeal and efficiency of this rail system

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 Additional Light Rail Lines

At the launch of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, 6 lines were in view and with the launching of the transit and commuters rail, there are talks of expanding the railway network.

The Green and Purple lines are the next baby projects of LAMATA after the pioneer rail pathways are completed. They will connect different parts of the city and reduce your reliance on road trips. 

Currently, the plans for these rails are not revealed to the public but the railway system holds a promising future for Lagos residents. Just like the BRT system, these rails will provide affordable and reliable transport options for residents.

Conclusion

The Lagos Metro Rail project will improve public transport in Lagos and enhance its modern city status. The Blue line extension to Okokomaiko and the red line’s steady journey to Marina are the pioneer works for an efficient railway transport system in Lagos.

Notwithstanding, every important assignment has its challenges. Hence, the railway system has its own share. Fundings, land management, community reconstruction and political activities all affect the development of this project. 

So, while we celebrate the launching of the Red Line and Blue line, let’s contribute our quota to maintain them while the regulatory bodies focus on their extensions and the construction of new lines.

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