The Federal Government has been called upon to reconsider constructing narrow gauge rail for Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail corridor. The appeal was made by Engr Fyne Chima Ogolo during the Lying-in-State of the late Engr Prof Howells I Hart at the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Port Harcourt Branch Secretariat. According to him, adopting a narrow gauge instead of Standard gauge will render the rack redundant when the wagons are phased out.
It will be recalled that President Mohammadu Buhari will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastern rail corridor on the 9th of March 2021.
In a press release, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Ameachi stated that the president has approved the commencement of the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail project redirecting the Eastern line to two new spurs of Abakaliki and Awka. In the press release signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director PPR, the type of gauge to be deployed was not stated.
According to Engr Fyne Ogolo, it is necessary that all levels of NSE should pass the urgent information to the federal government to consider Standard gauge for the project.
The distance between the two tracks on any railway route is known as railway gauge. Globally, 60% of the railway uses Standard gauge of 1,435mm.