Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has acquired two sets of 10 cars new Talgo 330kmph speed trains for Lagos Red Line rail project in line with his administration’s commitment to traffic management and transportation.
He completed the acquisition deal of the trains at a public event inside the Milwaukee facilities of Spanish train manufacturer Talgo Incorporated in the United States, on Tuesday.
The trains would be heading to Lagos, for the Red Line, a 37-km track rail project started by Governor Sanwo-Olu. The red line will have 11 stations and when completed, will be the first operational metro system in West Africa.
Speaking at the event, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works, Aramide Adeyoye, and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Abimbola Akinajo, said the state government was excited to complete the purchase of the two brand new trains.
“We hope this (purchase of the trains) will be the beginning of a mutually beneficial business relationship. Providing source of livelihood for our citizens is all about providing jobs for our people and that is what we are doing. It is about ensuring we can build our economy; people can move from one location to another and businesses can grow.
“Part of what we have done in the last two and half years is to have what we call integrated urban mass transportation system, where we will be using road infrastructure, waterway infrastructure and rail infrastructure so we can move over 20 million Lagosians within and around the city,” he said.
Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, who received Governor Sanwo-Olu in the city, said: “It is a little bittersweet. I am sending my congratulations to the Governor of Lagos State but also a little disappointed that we missed out on the opportunity to have those train sets operating here in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.”
Also speaking the CEO and President, Talgo USA Antonio Perez, said: “For us, it is important that our trains are utilised. It doesn’t make any good for the trains that we built to be stored and kept without passengers riding them.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu accompanied by the state delegation during the visit inspected the interior design of the newly acquired Talgo 330kmph intra-city metropolitan trains.
The governor has promised Lagosians that the first phase of the Red Line will begin by the last quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023, with a capacity of 500,000 passengers daily.