So many ways I want to open up this post but I guess the only befitting opener would be a compliment to the Nigeria Railway Corporation or probably the Chinese guys running the train behind the scenes or behind the rails.
I mean it is difficult to believe the railway corporation is been run by the Nigerian Government, I mean, we already sold out birthright to the Chinese guys, so the only right thing to do is to pay homage to them.
But all that apart, as at the publication of this post, the Lagos-Ibadan railway is probably the best thing since Agege bread when it comes to the transportation system in the state, and in this post, I’m going to divulge everything I learned about the system and what you need to know to enjoy a smooth ride.
Location and Routes
The Departure location when traveling to Ibadan via train is located in Alagomeji, Yaba. Named Mobolaji Johnson Station, it is a few walking distances from Ozone Cinemas in E-Center and can be easily located if you are commuting with a ride-hailing app.
Moniya in Ibadan, named after Obafemi Awolowo is the arrival location when coming from Lagos. Between the two destinations, there are roughly 5 different stops all named after several prominent figures in Nigeria including Chief Mrs. Ransome Kuti Folorunsho, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, Lateef Jankande, Babatunde Raji Fashola, and Samuel Ladoke Akintola.
These were the few names I could catch during the trip and these are all spread out across Alagomeji, Agege, Kajola, Olodo, Papalanto, Abeokuta.
Classes & Fares
The Nigeria Railway Corporation currently offers 3 different travel classes for its Lagos-Ibadan round trips all with separate seats and prices. It’s simply broken down into three including First Class, Business Class, Standard Class, and regular.
Sadly, tickets can only be purchased at the station, and to further worsen the case, only cash payments are allowed at the moment, and to even complicate the issue the more, there are currently no ATMs at the stations although POS merchants are usually on site.
For the Lagos to Ibadan, the ticket prices for the various class are;
- First Class which is the 24 seater costs N6000
- Business Class which is the 56 seater coach costs N5000
- Standard Class which is the 68 seater coach costs N3500
- The regular coach which houses 88 seats costs N2600
For the Lagos to Abeokuta, the ticket prices for the various class are;
- First Class which is the 24 seater costs N4500
- Business Class which is the 56 seater coach costs N3500
- Standard Class which is the 68 seater coach costs N3000
- The regular coach which houses 88 seat costs N2000
And like with every setting, the Regular coach is the less preferable of all the classes. I personally don’t think any sane person would enjoy sharing a coach filled with 87 other individuals, which several backgrounds and approaches to the things of life, except you’re lucky to hitch a ride on a day where the train is not at full capacity.
Date & Time
Before I proceed, I would love to iterate that the NRC is actually very strict with their stipulated time, they don’t move a second late and they stop onboarding passengers 5 minutes to the stipulated take-off time.
To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to be at the station with a secured ticket 30 minutes before take-off time as on both experiences at the station, tickets were sold out 20 minutes to take off time, and so far, they don’t issue out ‘standing’ tickets.
The Lagos Ibadan Railway train currently operates a Monday to Friday weekday schedule with the train taking off at Alagomeji, Yaba at 08:00 am for a final stop at Moniya in Ibadan at 10:48 am during the morning hours with another trip by 04:00 pm with an arrival time of 06:48 pm.’
During the weekends on Saturdays and Sundays, the train departs from Alagomeji at 08:18 am and arrives at Moniya in Ibadan at 11:18 am. In the Evening it picks up at 06:00 pm for a 09:00 pm arrival time.
The date and time typically follow the same format for both Mobolaji Station and Awolowo Station.
Onboard the train, there is a Monitoring Manager who oversees the events of every trip. There’s an ever-active Broadcasting Booth who never fails to dish out announcements every now and then informing us about arrival times at each station and all whatnot.
On both of the trips I took, there were about 7 different coaches, I saw military men sporting rifles on both, although I’m not sure if there were regular commuters or part of the train securities.
There’s a standby nurse on board to attend to any medical emergencies, there are cleaners on board the trains as well. As of the publication of this post, the restrooms on the train are still in good condition, the air conditioning working perfectly as well as the AC socket outputs.
There are several TVs strategically placed with a working sound system, although I don’t know why the NRC decided to be playing movies downloaded from NetNaija.
Dos & Don’t
Regular dos and don’ts of most public transportations;
- Pieces of Luggage above 25kgs are not allowed onboard.
- Smoking is prohibited
- Pets are not allowed onboard
- Avoid loitering and littering
- and I can’t remember the rest but if you are a typical law-abiding citizen, you should be fine abroad the train
Overall, it was a nice experience to fro. For my first trip abroad a train, I didn’t have a distasteful experience. I’d have loved more trips of such but the transportation network within Ibadan from the station is not encouraging.
The cheapest fare out from the station to the city is N500, that’s not even my issue but then the distance is more exhausting compared to the journey from Lagos. I heard Bolt services are not the best within the city either, so after an enjoyable ride from a system managed by the *Chinese Government* Nigerian Government, prepared to be hit in the face by the typical Nigerian run system.
It would be cool if tickets could be booked online and the use of POS embraced by the management. It’s also advisable to go along with a valid means of ID as it was requested at the Awolowo Station when commuting back to Lagos.
And, yeah, minors get a subsidized fare although I wasn’t able to catch their prices.
Would I be using the train again, certainly once I’m going to Ibadan again.
But will this be anytime soon, certainly not, at least not until the road network in Ibadan is improved on.