ABUJA – KADUNA TRAIN RIDE
I finally got on the train in Nigeria and it was the Abuja – Kaduna route. It was pretty uneventful except for a small fight argument that broke out at Rigasa station. However, we’ll get there in a bit.
For those who need to get to Kaduna from Abuja and vice versa, the National rail corporation finally deemed it necessary to ensure there were trains that ran through that route.
We were off to Kaduna for the day and we decided that instead of driving down, we would try out the trains.
The journey usually lasts about 2 hours 30 mins and our point of take off from Abuja was Idu station. The first train leaves there at about 7am in the morning and we had been told that the trains leave promptly and not a minute later. If you can’t make it to Idu Station for 7 am you can join at Kubwa.
We had to leave quite early because Idu station is on the outskirts of town and you can’t buy tickets ahead of time. Luckily we made it just in time despite someone showering late.
There are two classes of tickets – coach and first class with the difference in price being N450. We got coach tickets to go and first class to return so we could have a feel of both sections.
One odd thing I noticed is you can’t buy return tickets on the spot. We had to buy our return tickets when we got to Kaduna.
The train was neat and well kept. A food trolley was available for those who might be hungry. There’s an overhead storage unit for small bags and an information screen showing the upcoming stops.
The train does not permit people standing in it unlike other countries where people stand if all seats are taken up. Riders who were standing were asked to get down and were told their ticket money would be refunded.
The major difference between Coach and first class were the sitting arrangements. In coach, the seats are in rows of three while first class seats are in twos and is slightly more spacious. Sitting arrangements for 4 people are also available in first class with a mini tray in the middle and charging points and a food station is available where you can even have meals like jollof rice.
It was a pleasant ride to and fro despite being a tad bit too long. After a while there’s nothing else left to do but sleep. We also made a couple of friends who gave us a bit of education on the rail system as they use this train route quite often. (Apparently the train runs on generators, say it ain’t so).
I also had fun terrorizing getting to know the man at the food station who claimed he had made all the meals for the day.
Something we didn’t quite understand or appreciate was the hostility of the workers at Rigasa station when we tried to take pictures. This led to a huge fight as we were categorically told picture taking wasn’t allowed and someone even threatened to arrest us.
The face you make when you’re told ‘pisshure taking iz not allawed’
A train station is a public area and as long as you’re not disturbing the peace, there should be no issues. This is also the case in a lot of places. Nigerian workers seem to have an affinity to picture taking even on the roads and they should do better.
That said, transportation by rail is a welcome idea and it’s great that its quite affordable. I however hope that faster trains will be introduced soon? I’m sure Abuja – Kaduna can be done in 1 hour 30 mins.
*Note that if you want to buy first class tickets, you should get to the station early. Senators people are famous for buying out the first class section when they have family and friends travelling.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A TRAIN IN NIGERIA? WHAT DID YOU THINK?
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*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person
*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.