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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor, Delta State, after the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The railway station will be known as ‘Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex’.

The Agbor railway complex is the operational hub and largest station of the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line.

This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, through his official Twitter handle on Saturday, July 18, 2020, during the test run of newly acquired coaches on the completed Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line.

In the tweet post, Amaechi said, ‘’Today, we continued test run of our new coaches on the completed Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line. We’ve named the largest station on this route – Agbor railway facility and station after former President Goodluck Jonathan.’’

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Amaechi announced had announced that Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) started a test run on the newly delivered coaches on the completed Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line on Friday, July 17, 2020.

The Itakpe-Warri rail line has a length of 276 km and links Warri in Delta State Ajaokuta in Kogi State. Py has 12 stations with 2 located between Itakpe, Ajaokuta and Warri.

The other stations are Eganiy, Adobe, Itogbo, Agenebode, Uromi, Egehen, Igbanke, Agbor, Abraka, Okpara and Ujewu stations.

The line, which was started in 1987, was originally designed to transport iron ore from mines to Ajaokuta and Aladja steel rolling mills and then the processed steel to the port in Warri.

The construction of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri railway line was abandoned after about 254 kilometres had been constructed. The railway line would have been the first standard gauge railway line in Africa if it had it not been abandoned.

In 2009, the construction of the Itakpe-Warri railway line was reactivated. The Goodluck Jonathan-led Federal Government approved N33bn for the redesign and completion of the remaining 22 kilometres.

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The contract for the construction of the railway line was awarded to Team Nigeria and Julius Berger PLC with the completion date slated for March 2013. The rail line which was originally conceived as a cargo rail was redesigned to provide passenger service.

The project was abandoned in 2015 after 70% completion due to paucity of funds. It was re-awarded to three construction firms, Julius Berger, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), and ZTE, at an estimated cost of $200 million by the Buhari administration in 2017. It was to be ready for commercial operation in 2019.

The railway line will connect 3 states namely Kogi, Edo and Delta states and ultimately the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Upon completion, the rail line will have the capacity for four trains of 32 wagons in its first phase and eventually increase to eight trains of 64 wagons.

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In October 2019, the government signed a $3.9 billion contract with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited to extend the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Railway line to the FCT.

Details later…

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