“This leaves so much to be desired of the expectation from a state government that is expected to be forward-looking with policies that will resonate with the standard in the 21st Century. It can easily be surmised that the trains have become another huge conduit for fiscal recklessness by the government of Lagos State.
It was celebrated when the news hit the airwaves. After many years of procrastination, Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, was going to have train services. But the joy was short-lived as facts regarding the purchase began to emerge.
One, it was discovered that the trains were being procured from the city of Milwaukee in the State of Wisconsin, USA.
Two, the city, with an estimated population of 575,580 people, was said to have rejected these same sets of trains for their rail system eleven (11) years ago due to apparent structural and operational deficiency. Hence, the trains could not be put to use and were, as a result, moribund.
Three, this deal was said to have been proposed to the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration following an opaque agreement between one Dr Tunji Olowolafe and their international counterpart.
But was later rejected due to public outcry.
Four, those in the know have pointed out that what has been bought is a high-speed train for medium to long haul services (Milwaukee to Madississon -128km) with very limited stops, not urban rail/city service like Red Line with about 6-stops over 37km; hence there’s lots of reconfiguration to be carried out.
Five, since the engine is optimised for high speed, not slow speed required for urban passenger services, the trains would therefore operate below capacity, hence more maintenance spending.
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Six, though it has not been disclosed if the expected trains are Electric Engine (EMU). The Lagos Red Line operates on the Chinese line, Diesel Engine (DMU). So there is likely to be lots of clashes due to electrification requirements, etc.
Seven, If the trains are DMU, the question is why are Americans still selling DMU when everyone already agreed the whole world is going electric due to climate change and several countries have announced exit times from fossil fuel cars and trains, undoubtedly, the sellers would not be able to maintain these train in few years due to climate change restrictions.
Finally, are these trains designed for Sub-Saharan Africa climatic conditions in terms of hot weather, etc? These are trains of 20-30yrs lifecycle and are usually optimised to detailed climatic conditions.
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