A rail technology expert, Mr James Akpoviroro, has advised the Federal government to convert the old narrow gauge to standard gauge instead of revamping the system entirely.
Akpoviroro, who gave the advice in an interview recently, made a wide distinction between the narrow and wide gauge, stressing that it takes a whole lot of time, energy, expertise to migrate from one gauge to the other. He, however, pointed out that the standard gauge is the best because the standard gauge is what is obtainable in the whole world.
According to him, the narrow gauge is what Nigeria operates, which is 1067lm, but the real standard gauge is 1435lm. He however, noted that if any gauge is less than 1435lm, then it is narrow, adding that “If it is more than 1435, then it is wide gauge but if you look at the Nigerian system, most of the guards are narrow apart from the one done from Ajaokuta to Warri, which is standard 1435 and the one done from Abuja to Kaduna. Those are real standard gauge while the other ones are narrow gauge”.
Speaking further, Akpoviroro pointed out that Ebuta-Metta, Lagos axis of the rail track has a lot of space which would have otherwise taken a double lane for the rail track but has just a single lane.
“I was at Ebuta-Metta the other day and you know there is a market there and it is a single lane. That land you see there can be used for double lane but for now, it is a single lane and it is 1067. So it is narrow gauge but what I want to say is that it is better to take the time to plan. However, the government is trying a lot to see what they can do to change it to standard gauge where any train from any part of the world can travel,” Akpoviroro said.