Railway Corporation Urged to Adopt Safety Measure


Sunday Okobi

Stakeholders in the railway sub-sector have called on the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to erect level crossing barriers at all rail level crossings in order to regulate movement of traffic.

This, according to them, would also help in averting the incessant deaths recorded at railway level crossings in the country.

The call came against the backdrop of the recent death of four passengers in a tricycle killed by an Ijoko to Iddo bound Lagos Mass Transit train at Iju railway level crossing.

To a regular commuter of the Lagos Mass Transit Train service, Mr John Obot, the employment of flagmen to regulate traffic at railway level crossings was not enough to avert the unnecessary deaths recorded at regular intervals at railway level crossings.

He urged management of the corporation to erect metal barriers that could be lowered to regulate traffic whenever a train is approaching.

Obot, noted that when the Rail India Technical and Engineering Services (RITES) of India managed the corporation in the late 70s and early 80s metal barriers were erected at both sides of the road to stop traffic whenever trains were approaching level crossings, adding that during that period there used to be few cases of trains killing motorists at railway level crossings.

Also, the Managing Director, First Rit Nigeria Limited, a Transport and Logistics Company, Mr. Eric Umezurike, noted that the claim by officials of NRC that the communities where rail lines intersect with roads should be responsible for maintenance of such level crossings was not tenable because the corporation generates revenue from the passenger and goods.

The Lagos District Manager of the corporation, Jerry Oche, had earlier said most of the metal barriers used to regulate traffic at railway level crossings were damaged by motorists out of restlessness and disobedience.

He noted that at most of the level crossings there are gate keepers that stop motorists whenever a train is approaching, adding that in spite of that, some motorists often ignore the stop sign which led to the death of a policeman alongside a commercial motorcyclist and recently four people inside a tricycle at PWD and Iju railway level crossing respectively in Lagos.

Oche averred that when approaching a railway level crossing motorists should endeavour to listen and watch before proceeding.

Another regular commuter of the Lagos Mass Transit Train service, Mr. Segun Esan, however posited that it better to use metal barriers to regulate traffic rather than allow people to die untimely.