The Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway is an under construction standard gauge railway across Nigeria. The railway will run parallel to the British-built Cape Gauge line, which has a lower design capacity and is in a deteriorated condition.
The railway is being built in segments. Only the segment between Abuja and Kaduna has been completed so far, and services began officially in July 2016. The segment between Lagos and Ibadan is under construction.
The completion of the Abuja–Kaduna line in 2016 came at a critical time for ground transport in the region. Starting in 2009, the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway fell into a state of lawlessness as it was besieged by armed robbers and kidnappers.
Many of the victims were prominent government officials, including Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to Nigeria. Fearing for their safety, travelers flocked to the train.
By April 2019, even the weekend trains were selling out, and railway officials were arrested for ticket racketeering.
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume once reported that he had to stand on the train for two hours, and Senator James Manager said, “It is one who wants to commit suicide that will take the road.