Work on a major urban railway network in Lagos is expected to begin next year, with plans currently at an advanced stage. The public private partnership will see the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) work with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
The scheme involves the construction of two separate lines: the Red Line and the Blue Line.
The Red Line will run on a north-south axis through some of the most densely populated areas in Lagos and will incorporate the existing Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) corridor between Iddo and Agbado. The route will have 13 stations from its starting point at Lagos Island to its terminus at Agbado.
From Marina to Iddo the Red Line shares the route with the Blue Line which will run 27km from Okokomaiko to Marina and is being developed alongside the Badagry Expressway project, a toll road planned between Lagos and Badagry. The Blue Line will also have 13 stations and requires the construction of two bridges, one of which will connect the mainland with the island while the second will span Badagry Creek at Mile 2.
Provisional ground work is being carried out at Iganmu where concrete piers are being put in place in advance of the main construction work on the Blue Line next year. Some 2,000 Nigerians are currently working on the scheme which by 2012 will employ 3,000. At its peak, the project is expected to employ 8,000.
Fashola stated that in the future a further six lines are to be built - to Agege, Alimosho, Ikorodu and other parts of the state, and explained that the projects have been designed to supply their own electricity.