The Abuja-Kaduna train operations resumed yesterday amidst low passenger traffic as fear of insecurity continued to mar the operations on the route.
Recall that the train service was suspended on March 28, 2022 after an attack on an ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train services by suspected terrorists.
The management of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) over the weekend, announced that the train service would resume on Monday.
A closer monitor at the Idu and Kubwa stations showed that the ever bubbling train stations were totally deserted as only a few car were sighted.
Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were also seen at the entrance of the station indicating the presence of security.
At the ticketing points, the newly introduced National Identification Number (NIN) and phone number were demanded from interested passengers before the issuance of tickets.
Passengers without NIN were not issued tickets despite pleas to the ticketing officer.
Inside the coaches from Idu to Kubwa station, the majority of the coaches were empty and only a few had passengers.
Also, as reported earlier on the hike in ticket fare for the Abuja-Kaduna train service, it was observed that from Idu to Rigasa, the current fare has been pegged at N9,000 for 24-seater coaches, N6,500 for 56 and 68-seater coaches and N3,600 for 88-seater coaches while minors are expected to pay N3,000.
However, before the attack, the Abuja-Kaduna train from Idu to Rigasa was pegged at N7,000 for 24-seater coaches, N5,000 for 56 and 68-seater coaches and between N2,600 to N3,000 for 88-seater coaches depending on the time of the trip while minors paid N1,500.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC) announced the increase of passenger train fares on the Standard Gauge Railway Line from Lagos to Ibadan and Abuja to Kaduna from N6,500 in the business class to N9,000.
According to an internal memo dated November 30, 2022 and made available to LEADERSHIP, fares for the 56/68-seater coaches on the Lagos-Ibadan railway corridor, has been increased from N5,000 to N6,5000 while 88-seater coach now attracts N3,600 as against N2,500.
According to the memo signed by Director, Operations, (marketing and commercial), Ebute-Metta, Ola Adeeinwo, Lagos to Abeokuta, now costs N6,000 on a 24-seater coach, N4,500 for a 56/68-seater coach, N3,000 for a 88-seater coach.
Minors are expected to pay N3,000 from Lagos to Ibadan, N2,00 from Lagos to Abeokuta and N600 from Abeokuta to Ibadan.
Other routes affected are: Ujewvu-Uromi- 56-seater-N5,500, 88-seater-N2,500, Uromi to Itakpe-56-seater coach attracts and N4,000, 88-seater N2,500 while minors are expected to pay N2,500 from Ujewvu-Itakpe-N2,500, Ujewvu-Uromi-N1,500 and Uromi-Itakpe-1,500.
Passengers are also expected to pay N6,500 and N3,000 for the 56/68 seated coach and 88-seater coach to board the Abuja Kaduna passenger train while minors now pay N3,000.
Meanwhile, passengers have continued to lament over the sudden increase saying railway operation is supposed to be a social service that should be subsidised.