Lagos Rail Mass Transit

Lagos Rail Mass Transit is an urban rail system being developed and under construction[1] in Lagos. The system is being managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and is envisioned to consist eventually of seven lines.[1] The railway equipment including electric power, signalling, rolling stock, and fare collection equipment will be provided by the private sector under a Concession Contract. LAMATA is responsible for policy direction, regulation, and infrastructure for the network.

Lagos Rail Mass Transit
OwnerLagos State Managed by Eko Rail under a Concession Agreement
LocaleLagos (Lagos State, Nigeria)
Transit typeRapid Transit
Number of lines1 under construction (Blue Line)
6 more planned (Red, Green, Yellow, Purple, Brown and Orange)
Operation will start2022
Operator(s)Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)
Number of vehicles15 four-car BMU CNR Dalian for Blue Line
System length35 km (22 mi) (planned)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) Standard Gauge
Electrification1500 V DC overhead catenary (planned)

Blue & Red Lines
Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Ajao Estate
Ebute Metta
Trade Fair
Festac Town
Mile 2
National Theatre
Iddo Mainline rail interchange
Ebute Ero

The first section of the network, Phase I of the Blue Line, was originally planned to be completed in 2011. After many delays caused by funding shortfalls, the opening date was revised to 2022.[2]


  • 2008: A metro is proposed for Lagos, allegedly with a completion date of 2011.
  • 2009: Construction commences on the Blue Line.[1]
  • 2010: Lagos Rail Mass Transit to proceed.[citation needed]
  • 2016: Phase I (the Blue Line from Marina to Mile 2) planned to open in December 2016.
  • 2018: After an Alstom review of the project, Phase I (the Blue Line from Marina to Mile 2) is now set to open in December 2022.


The idea of developing rapid transit in Lagos dates from 1983 with the Lagos Metroline network conceived by the Alhaji Lateef Jakande during the Second Nigerian Republic.[3][4][5][6] The initial Metroline project was scrapped in 1985 by Muhammadu Buhari at a loss of over $78 million to the Lagos tax payers.[7] The idea of developing a light rail network for Lagos was revived by Governor Bola Tinubu in the early 2000s with a formal announcement of its construction in December 2003.[8] This initial $135 million proposal was part of the greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project to be implemented by the newly formed Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).[8] LAMATA initially concentrated on developing a Bus Rapid Transit system, running from Mile 12 to Lagos Island. In 2008, LAMATA began also to make progress with the rail project, focusing initially on the Blue Line and the Red Line.

Rolling stockEdit

In September 2011, LAMATA announced that it would acquire some H5-series subway trains formerly used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The cars were to be refurbished in the United States and converted to standard gauge before being imported and put into service on the Blue and Red lines. The same contract also included an option for some H6-series subway cars from the TTC, however this has since been cancelled.[9][10][11][12] The trains were built as two-unit married pairs[13] with a driver's cab in the front right corner of each car.[14]

In January 2015, LAMATA has opted for Chinese-built trains instead, ordering 15 electro-diesel multiple units from CNR Dalian with an option for 14 more.[15] About 76 H5 cars that had been taken for refurbishment to Buffalo, New York, have been scrapped by August 2015.[16]

In August 2018, LAMATA signed an agreement with Alstom. As a part of the agreement, Alstom conducted a review of the rail lines. After the review of the rail project, which should have initiated passenger activity, the state government said the Blue Line, would now be ready for passenger operation by 2022. This deal also plans for the electrification of a portion of the track.[2]


Okokomaiko-Marina Blue LineEdit

In April 2008, the Lagos State Government approved 70 billion for construction of the Okokomaiko-Iddo-Marina Line, with an estimated completion date of 2011. However, the project suffered many delays due to funding shortfalls.[17] The opening date was revised to June 2013, then December 2016, then 2017.[18][17] As of November 2016, only 16 km of the 27 km Blue Line had been completed.[18]

The contract was awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC),[18] with advisory services being provided by CPCS Transcom Limited. Lagos State is financing construction of the Blue Line from its own resources.

The Blue Line will run 27.5 km from Marina to Okokomaiko, with 13 stations and an end-to-end journey time of 35 minutes. The entire Blue Line will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles. The route will run on the surface in the central reservation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway between Igbo-Elerin Road (Okokomaiko) and Iganmu. The line will then be elevated from Iganmu along the south side of the expressway passing the junction with Eric Moore Road, crossing just south of the National Theatre to Iddo, then south to Lagos Island with a terminal at Marina. A Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) will be constructed at Okokomaiko, with a track connection from the Blue Line to the depot.

When a project review was completed in 2018 by Alstom, the commencement date was pushed back to 2022.[2]

Agbado-Marina Red LineEdit

The second line, the Red Line, will run from Marina to Agbado. The line will share the right-of-way of the Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway.[19]

Other linesEdit

LAMATA has long term plans to build up to seven lines.[20]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Lagos Rail Mass Transit". Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority. 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ Gbenga Salau (July 26, 2016). "30 years after… Lagos Metroline still work in progress". The Guardian.
  4. ^ Bola A. Akinterinwa (1999). Nigeria and France, 1960-1995: The Dilemma of Thirty-five Years of Relationship. Indiana University (Vantage). p. 160.
  5. ^ Ayodeji Olukoju (2003). Infrastructure development and urban facilities in Lagos, 1861-2000 Volume 15 of Occasional publication. Institut français de recherche en Afrique, University of Ibadan. ISBN 978-9-788-0250-54.
  6. ^ "Turning Lagos Into a Megacity". PM News. April 14, 2004.
  7. ^ Farukanmi, Olorunnimbe (January 24, 2003). "Battle of Generals". Vanguard.
  8. ^ a b Momodu, Shaka (December 3, 2003). "Lagos Launches $135m Rail System". This Day.
  9. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (September 6, 2011). "TTC subway cars bound for Nigeria". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  10. ^ "Eko Rail's Trains Begin Journey to Lagos". PR Newswire. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  11. ^ "Report on sales of surplus assets" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  12. ^ "First subway cars leave Toronto for Lagos". International Railway Journal. September 28, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2013-06-15. The Blue Line is expected to carry 300,000 passengers a day with trains running at 5-minute headways.
  13. ^ "Lagos settles for refurbished subway cars for its light rail project". Nigerians Abroad. May 11, 2011. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013. Subway cars — equivalent of trains — are series of connected railroad cars used for intra city (urban) transportation, usually underground and operated by electricity.
  14. ^ "Toronto Transit Commission 5670-5807". Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  15. ^ "LAMATA opts for Chinese Trains for the Lagos Light Rail". Black Border Build. January 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  16. ^ "Hawker Siddeley Canada H5". Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  17. ^ a b "Lagos light rail now to be completed 2017". BusinessDay. 21 October 2015.
  18. ^ a b c Fahd, Abdulmalik (25 November 2016). "December knocking: Where is the Lagos light rail?". Ventures Africa.
  19. ^ "Nigeria: Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project Ready in 2018 - Osinbajo". Premium Times (Abuja). 7 March 2017.
  20. ^ "In pictures: Lagos mass transit system rolls along after delays". 1 June 2014. Nigeria’s largest city Lagos is constructing a seven-line light rail system under a public private partnership, with first two lines expected to start test runs in 2015 after much delays.

External linksEdit