The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to reopen Ashade level crossing which was closed to motorists following a recent train derailment.
The Railway District Manager, Lagos State, Mr. Jerry Oche, told newsmen on Sunday in Lagos that the corporation was working with the state government to raise the road level to meet the rail track.
According to him, the step has become imperative to guard against future derailment and accidents.
Oche said: “A level crossing is made up of two components — the track and the road. We have done the track component.
“The road component of the level crossing is not for us, it is for Lagos State.
“Here is good news because of our very good relationship with the Lagos State Government, we have been discussing with them.
“What makes Ashade level crossing unique is the fact that the track is higher than the road. As the vehicles come in, it is like climbing a mountain with the track as the peak.
“What we agree with the Lagos State Government is that instead of having this mountain and a peak; fill the size of the roads, reduce the slope and this the government has accepted to do it.
“The reason it has not been open is that we are dealing with the issue and discussing with the government.
“They have agreed to do that. The only thing we will be doing as NRC is to supervise and ensure that we get equal level.
“The Lagos State Government is handling this. I have been in discussion with the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transport. That is why that road has not been opened and it is not because of our own track aspect.’’
Oche said that for people to understand why that place has not been opened, they needed to know the genesis of the accident.
According to him, on Tuesday night (January 8), a truck while crossing the level crossing pulled check rail, which is always at every level crossing to guide the train.
“When this was pulled out, our track men went and fixed it on Wednesday (January 9) and train ran. On Thursday (January 10), we had the accident, a derailment, where one wagon derailed and pulled two other wagons and in the process, one capsized.
“Because that is a spot that we had already given attention, we had to do proper work on that level crossing,” he said.
Reports show that on January 10, a train coming from Ijoko, Ogun State, heading to Apapa, Lagos, derailed at Ashade level crossing, Mangoro area of Agege Local Government Area.
The accident, which killed one person and left several persons injured, had made the corporation to close the level crossing since then.
A level crossing is where a track and road cross on the same level to allow train and vehicles to conveniently pass.