Lagos Rail Mass Transit

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Lagos Rail Mass Transit
Owner Lagos State Managed by Eko Rail under a Concession Agreement
Locale Lagos, Nigeria
Transit type Rapid Transit
Number of lines 1 under construction (Blue Line)
6 more planned (Red, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange)
Operation will start December 2016; 5 months' time (2016-12)
Operator(s) Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)
System length 35 km (22 mi) (planned)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) Standard Gauge

Blue & Red Lines
AirportMurtala Muhammed International Airport
Ajao Estate
Ebute Metta
Trade Fair
Mile 2
National Theatre
Lagos Harbour
Iddo Mainline rail interchange
Ebute Ero

Lagos Rail Mass Transit is a system being developed and under construction[1] in Lagos, Nigeria. The system is being sponsored by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and is envisioned to consist eventually of seven lines.[1] The railway equipment including electric power, signalling, rolling stock, and fare collection equipment will be provided by the private sector under a Concession Contract. LAMATA is responsible for policy direction, regulation, and infrastructure for the network.[2] The concessionaire will generate its own dedicated electricity.[3] The first section of the network (Phase I of the Blue Line) was originally scheduled to enter revenue service by the first quarter of 2014. It was announced in February 2016 that operations will officially start in December 2016.


2008 – A metro is proposed for Lagos, allegedly with a completion date of 2011.
2009 – Construction commences on the Blue Line.[1]
2010 – Lagos Rail Mass Transit to proceed.[citation needed]
2016 – Phase I (the Blue Line from Marina to Mile 2) set to open in December 2016.


The idea of developing rapid transit in Lagos dates from the 1980s with the Lagos Metroline network conceived by the Alhaji Lateef Jakande during the Second Nigerian Republic.[4] The initial Metroline project was scrapped in 1985 by Muhammadu Buhari at a loss of over $78 million to the Lagos tax payers.[5] The idea of developing a light rail network for Lagos was revived by Governor Bola Tinubu in the early 2000s with a formal announcement of its construction in December 2003.[6] This initial $135 million proposal was part of the greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project to be implemented by the newly formed Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).[6] LAMATA initially concentrated on developing a Bus Rapid Transit system, running from Mile 12 to Lagos Island. In 2008, LAMATA began also to make progress with the rail project, focusing initially on the Blue Line and the Red Line.

Rolling stock[edit]

In September 2011, LAMATA announced that it would acquire some H5-series subway trains formerly used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The cars are being refurbished in the United States and converted to standard gauge before being imported and put into service on the Blue and Red lines. The same contract also included an option for some H6-series subway cars from the TTC, however this has since been cancelled.[7][8][9][10] The trains were built as two-unit married pairs[11] with a driver's cab in the front right corner of each car.[12]

In January 2015, LAMATA has opted for Chinese-built trains instead, ordering 15 electric multiple units from CNR Dalian with an option for 14 more.[13] About 76 H5 cars that had been taken for refurbishment to Buffalo, New York, have been scrapped by August 2015.[14]


Okokomaiko-Marina Blue Line[edit]

In April 2008, the Lagos State Government approved 70 billion for construction of the Okokomaiko-Iddo-Marina Line, with an estimated completion date of 2011.[2] Advisory services are being provided by CPCS Transcom Limited, an Infrastructure Development consulting firm based in Ottawa, Canada. Construction actually commenced in January 2010, and completion is now expected in 2015.[15] The Blue Line is now being built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. The Blue Line will run 27.5 km from Marina to Okokomaiko, with 13 stations. End-to-end journey time will be approximately 35 minutes. It is being built as a high capacity, electrically powered rail mass transit system. Most of the route will be on the surface, running east-west, in the central reservation of the rebuilt Badagry Expressway between Igbo-Elerin Road (Okokomaiko) and Iganmu. The line will run on elevated structure from Iganmu along the south side of the expressway passing the junction with Eric Moore Road, crossing just south of the National Theatre to Iddo, then south to Lagos Island with a terminal at Marina. Construction is underway between National Theatre and Mile 2. A Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) will be constructed at Okokomaiko, with a track connection from the Blue Line to the depot. The entire Blue Line will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles. Lagos State is financing construction of the Blue Line from its own resources. A concession contract is being awarded to finance, supply and operate the railway equipment, including electric power, signalling, trains, and fare collection.

Agbado-Marina Red Line[edit]

The second line, the Red Line, will run from Marina to Agbado.[15] The line will share the existing 30 metre wide Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) right-of-way.[1]

Other lines[edit]

LAMATA has long term plans to build up to seven lines.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lagos Rail Mass Transit". Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  2. ^ a b Bisiriyu, Rasheed (April 11, 2008). "N70bn Lagos light rail ready in 2011". The Punch. 
  3. ^ "Lagos Light Rail". Railways Africa Magazine. December 12, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Turning Lagos Into a Megacity". PM News. April 14, 2004. 
  5. ^ Farukanmi, Olorunnimbe (January 24, 2003). "Battle of Generals". Vanguard. 
  6. ^ a b Momodu, Shaka (December 3, 2003). "Lagos Launches $135m Rail System". This Day. 
  7. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (September 6, 2011). "TTC subway cars bound for Nigeria". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  8. ^ "Eko Rail's Trains Begin Journey to Lagos". PR Newswire. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  9. ^ "Report on sales of surplus assets" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  10. ^ "First subway cars leave Toronto for Lagos". International Railway Journal. September 28, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2013-06-15. The Blue Line is expected to carry 300,000 passengers a day with trains running at 5-minute headways. 
  11. ^ "Lagos settles for refurbished subway cars for its light rail project". Nigerians Abroad. May 11, 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-14. Subway cars — equivalent of trains — are series of connected railroad cars used for intra city (urban) transportation, usually underground and operated by electricity. 
  12. ^ "Toronto Transit Commission 5670-5807". Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  13. ^ "LAMATA opts for Chinese Trains for the Lagos Light Rail". Black Border Build. January 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  14. ^ "Hawker Siddeley Canada H5". Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  15. ^ a b c The Report: Nigeria 2012. Oxford Business Group. 2012. ISBN 9781907065668. Retrieved 2013-06-15. Also under development is the Lagos light rail network, which will be regulated by LAMATA. The $1.2bn contract to build the Blue Line, which will run 27.5 km through 13 stations from Okokomaiko to Marina, was awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. In anticipation of the Blue Line's 2015 completion, Nigerian firm Eko Rail has bought 255 subway cars from Canada's Toronto Transit Commission. Also being developed is the 30-km Red Line, to run between Marina and Agbado. LAMATA hopes to later add five more lines, to be serviced by Eko Rail. 

External links[edit]