The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said that the breakdown of the Abuja-Kaduna train is a normal occurrence that happens with anything that has mechanical and electrical components.
Recall that hundreds of passengers on the Abuja/Kaduna train were in the early hours of Monday trapped and stranded in Dutse, Kaduna, as the train developed faults few minutes into the journey.
Further findings revealed that five minutes after the train departed the Rigasa Station in Kaduna, it developed a mechanical fault. Twice, the train stopped before getting to Dutse, where it finally broke down.
Responding to enquiries by the Nigerian Tribune on the incessant breakdown of the train, the Operations Manager for the Abuja-Kaduna trains, Mr Victor Adamu explained that it is a normal occurrence for anything that is mechanical.
According to Victor Adamu, “The breakdown was reported to me for the first time today. Allegations of the trains breaking down incessantly before today, I cannot speak on that. The breakdown of the Abuja-Kaduna train is a normal occurrence for anything that is mechanical or electrical.
“For anything that is mechanical and electrical, at times, things like this happen. I am only aware of the breakdown that occured today. I am not aware of any other breakdown that happened before today. No such thing has been reported to my office before today.
“Immediately today’s breakdown was reported to my office, what we did was to activate a relief to the point of failure, and bring the train to its point of destination in Idu. Any other thing outside what I just told you, I am not aware of.”
Efforts to get the Managing Director of the NRC, Engineer Fidet Okhiria to speak on the matter proved abortive as text messages and calls made to his MTN and Airtel lines were not responded to as of the time of filing in this report.
The Abuja-Kaduna Train Operations Manager also declined to speak on whether the breakdown is down to a poor maintenance culture by the NRC on the trains.
Allegations of the incessant breakdown of the Abuja-Kaduna train was reported earlier on Monday morning when passengers lamented about the occasional hiccups suffered by the trains anytime it embarks on its operation.
Midat Joseph, an Assistant National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), who was one of the passengers on Monday, said the train developed fault around 7:am.
“I left my house as early as 5:am to join the 6:40 am train but unfortunately I have been trapped here in this forest. This is not the first time I will be experiencing this mess,” he said.
Another passenger said he had a similar experience on Saturday, saying they spent six hours to get to Abuja.
“This is unfortunate. On Saturday, we spent five hours from Abuja to Kaduna. We left Abuja at 6:pm but we did not get to Kaduna until 11:pm,” he said.
An engineer of the NRC, who addressed the passengers, told them that it would take them two hours to fix the train.
The passengers were finally evacuated at 10:20 am.
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