Passengers travelling from Kaduna to Abuja on the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s train service on Monday were left stranded by a forest in Dutse, Kaduna, after the train conveying them broke down due to mechanical failure.
It was gathered that this disrupted train services on the route, a development that also made hundreds of passengers to be stranded at various stations along the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
Officials of the NRC at the Idu Station confirmed that the 6.40am KA2 train from Kaduna to Abuja on Monday developed mechanical issues some minutes into the two and half hours’ journey.
It was gathered that the train took off from the Rigasa Station in Kaduna and stopped twice on the way before getting to Dutse where it eventually packed up.
Although operators of the service claimed that they sent a rescue locomotive to quickly pick the travellers, some passengers alleged that they spent about three hours before they were moved out of the area.
“I rushed to the terminal to join the 6.40am train on Monday and after the train left the Rigasa Station and moved for only few minutes it stopped,” a passenger who simply gave his name as Haruna, said.
He added, “I don’t think the train had moved for up to 10 minutes before it eventually packed up around Dutse in Kaduna. And this happened after it had stopped twice. I suspect that those stops were also due to faults.”
Another passenger that identified himself simply as Ismaila said the train broke down around 7am and its passengers had to wait for another train that moved travellers from Abuja to Kaduna.
“It was the locomotive that moved the Kaduna-bound travellers coming from Abuja that came to pick us in the forest in Dutse, Kaduna,” he said.
Ismaila added, “We eventually got to Abuja around 12.20pm. So for a journey that was not meant to exceed two and half hours we spent over five hours. It wasn’t funny at all.”
The breakdown was further confirmed by the Abuja/Kaduna Train Service Manager, Paschal Nnorli, who stated that the train packed up due to mechanical failure.
He told our correspondent that the NRC had to send another locomotive to go as a rescue facility, adding that the faulty locomotive was being fixed.
“It is true that our first train service this morning broke down in Kaduna but it was due to a mechanical failure that happens to machines generally.
“However, the important thing is our ability to respond and come to the rescue. We sent a rescue locomotive and as at about 10am I was told that the locomotive had arrived the location.”
The NRC tendered its apology to all passengers on board the KA2 train.
Last year, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, expressed worries over the breakdown of locomotives and promised that the ones on the Abuja-Kaduna rail route that had broken down up to two times would be returned to China.
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