The northern part of Nigeria has one of the if not the most beautiful landscape views, I will keep saying this.
On taking account of States visited in Nigeria, the Northern part and some part of the South-East are yet to be covered fully in my travel diary.
So i set forth on planning my trip. After a long project that took about two months, I was set on a break for a while. I looked at the calendar and decided some days before Sallah will be great. Covering the Durbar festival in Kano this year was high on the list. I set out for Abuja from Lagos, had a sleepover and head out for the train station in Idu.
I went online to check the schedule for the train ride to Kaduna from Abuja. I did not want to leave with the first train so i opted for the second trip. You can check the train schedule at http://nrc.gov.ng/ to know the station, departure and arrival time as well as fare.
The website is fair to navigate but there is room for improvement.
I arrived at the train station with the aim of getting a first class ticket but I was told it’s fully booked. So I paid for coach which cost N1,300, while first class is N3,000. Your ticket has your seat number like in the plane as well as your coach number. You can not just sit in any coach you have to follow the procedure.
The sitting area of Idu train station is constructed like an airport sitting area. The terminal is quite better than some local airport architecture wise.
We all waited till our train arrived and we set to board the train. One thing though that can be taken into consideration is the availability of a conveyor belt for luggage for passengers having to climb up the stairs to get to the other side of the track to board their train.
The arrangement seats two and three passengers depending on which side of the coach you are seated. There is overhead luggage racks where passengers can put their luggage, while some seats have tables. On an average it’s a comfortable setting. The train conductors comes around to check your ticket and seating area a few minutes after take off.
The journey to Kaduna is about two hours 15 minutes. The views are of towns, villages, farmlands and in some areas ongoing rail projects.
We arrived at our destination at the exact estimated time. As we disembarked, a few minutes after the cleaning crew were at work tidying up the coaches for the next trip.
The train is considered a safer, cheaper and better way to travel in the north and they do have lots of passengers.
I do know that the government is working on the rail projects from Lagos to the North, yes the whole world is using speed and bullet trains, we are far behind.
This is a step in the right direction for me. I am waiting for the waterways to be better for inter State travel then I will take a ride as well.
Next time you are in Abuja and will like to head up North, do take the train and kindly share your experience.