The heavy rain that fell on June 11, 2017 has cut off the rail line that links the Northern and Southern part of Nigeria at Ndafun in Niger State.
The downpour, which also led to the destruction of farmlands, houses and fruit-trees and vehicles, reportedly damaged 300 meters of rail tracks, thus halting the North-South locomotive service.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, said the damaged has cost it a weekly N50m income and would require at least two weeks to get the wrecked section of the line repaired.
The corporation has as a result of the damage, suspended passengers and freight train services between Mokwa and Jebba.
The corporation, however, said train services between Lagos and Jebba, as well as Kano to Mokwa are not affected by the suspension, noting that the temporary bridge would be put in place at Ndafor pending the construction of a permanent bridge in the nearest future.
Managing Director of NRC, Fidet Okhiria, who explained the damage, pointed out that the rail damage could also have been caused by an avalanche of water released from Kanji Dam.
The MD, who spoke to newsmen over that weekend at the corporation’s headquarters, said apart from the washout of rail tracks on ground, the rain, also affected a railway bridge at Ndafor, which links Mokwa and Jebba.
Speaking further on the incident, he said officials as well as materials such as lump stones, laterite and gabion crates have been mobilised to site, adding that a temporary bridge will be launched within the next two weeks to ensure that trains linking Mokwa and Jebba commence operations.
Okhiria assured that lump stones would be used to fill the void before pouring laterite so as to reinforce the ground before laying the tracks.
He noted that washout is a natural occurrence that is peculiar to the rainy season, noting that between the months of May and September which fall within the rainy season, experienced track men from the civil engineering department are usually deployed to conduct regular inspection of tracks so as to identify faulty tracks and repair same to forestall any accident.