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Abuja light rail metro map

This rail system has not been operating for many years!

Error report


Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, located in the centre of the country, with some 2.5 million people

Metro-style regional light rail system under construction since 2007, totalling 78 km.

Stage 1 officially inaugurated on 12 July 2018 with initial free and limited service between Airport and Abuja Station (26.7 km).



Craig Moore comments in Nov 2019:

With the aim of improving mobility across the Federal Region and enhancing the image of development for Nigeria’s purpose-built capital, a series of Chinese loan, aid and management (CCECC) agreements enabled the construction of Sub-Saharan Africa’s first Metro. Work started in 2007 yet a series of delays meant that operations didn’t begin until July 2018 as Abuja Rail Mass Transit (ARMT).

Despite this nomenclature, the system is actually a Light Metro and its opening came with the fanfare of being the first such system in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet this is currently an unfinished and inadequate ‘system’. The planned and partly constructed system consists of two lines, serving Abuja centre and the western area of the Federal Region. Currently the Blue Line is the only line to operate, running from Abuja Metro Station in the south west of the city centre, heading in a westerly direction through low density areas to the International Airport (26.6km) in the south-west. The grade line has eight stations but, apart from the two terminus stations, only Idu is additionally operational (Oct 19). This station provides transfer with the Abuja-Kaduna rail line and will also offer interchange to the Yellow Line of the AMRT when it becomes operational. This 18.0km line will have five stations (Incl. Idu) as it heads north west to Gbazango, running parallel to the Kaduna line.

The operational single line (standard gauge) has only two departures per day (Mon-Fri only) and the line takes 40mins to traverse, running at a pathetic 18kph. Tickets cost 1000 Naira (€2.50) and come in paper form. These are ‘punched’ by a conductor on the platform before boarding. The stations have basic facilities, ticket office, and seating area. Stations are large and overbuilt with long platforms, grey cladding/glass and remain empty for most of the day - even the two services that operate have few passengers. The 3-car sets use B type CRRC stock with sticker type strip map and green-white-green side seating, replicating the Nigerian flag. Interiors are also decked with Chinese and Nigerian flags, representing the partnership between the two countries in this venture. The planned overhead power supply has not been realised and so trains are presently hauled by a Nigerian Railways Diesel Engine, which partly helps to account for the slow line speeds.

Given the context of its location, the line is clean, cool and reliable and has been greeted positively by many Abujans. Yet its current operations are woeful, and its semi-rural alignment is not suited to high passenger numbers, even when the full two line system and all 12 stations are operational.




Abuja Light Rail at Wikipedia




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