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Africa's first China-assisted gauge railway opens to traffic

(CRI Online)    08:47, July 28, 2016

Africa's first completed standard gauge railway, built in collaboration with by China, opens to traffic in Nigeria on July 26, 2016. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/Zhang Weiwei]

Africa's first completed standard gauge railway, built in collaboration with by China, opened to traffic in Nigeria on Tuesday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the commercial operation of the rail service, which is 186.5 kilometers long with nine stops.

President of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Yuan Li, said at the ceremony that the railway would facilitate the economic development of Nigeria.

"It is the first Chinese standard gauge railway to be built abroad, and also the first standard gauge railway to be built in Africa. It could serve as an example for other railways being built in Africa. The construction of railways will not only promote local economic development and create more jobs, but also stimulate the export of Chinese railway products such as rail accessories, junctions, and carriages, thus pushing forward the economic cooperation between the two countries."

With a designated speed of 150 km per hour, the railway links Nigerian capital Abuja and the northwestern state of Kaduna, reducing travel time to one hour.

Some locals believe the creation of a modern railway represents a positive sign for the country's economy.

"I'm very happy today because the new line that is commissioned signals a new life, a new beginning of railroad modernization in Nigeria. Our hope is to send it to other parts of the country because we have been talking about this for a very long time. This is the only time they are able to actualize it."

The next two projects between China and Nigeria will be the Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Kano railways.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor: Kong Defang,Bianji)

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