The price may seem high, but if you have the money, first class can be worth it. Ultimately, first class will get you to the same destination in the same amount of time as economy.
Or is it? Depends on you.
Travelling to Abuja or Kaduna has changed a lot due to the present state of security however, the train provides a safe and extremely convenient alternative. The trip is not same and is separated between economy and first class.
I’ll highlight the differences between the first class and economy coaches.
This is obviously the first thing that comes to mind when you hear of first class. For the train, the first class tickets go for N3000 for the express trip (train trip without any stop) and N2500 for normal trips. The economy tickets cost N1300 (normal trip) and N1500 (express trip).
The first class coaches have a bar within. If this is a big deal for you, you’ll have to get the first class ticket. There are snack sellers walking around the train but if you would like to have coffee over the bar, then you can get the first class tickets.
The economy coaches have no bar. You have to wait till the ladies/men selling snacks come by before you can get something to munch on.
Leg room. This was obviously the first thing I noticed. If you’re really tall or just have long legs, you’ll be more comfortable in the first class coach. For seating, each row has only 4 seats and can take 2 persons on each side. In the economy row, each row has 5 seats and takes 2 on one side and 3 on the other. As you don’t get to choose seating, you can find yourself between 2 strangers.
This may seem minor but each seat in the first class coach comes with a table and this is great for reading, eating or even sleeping (if you don’t have a heavy head of course). If you’re looking to catch up on some work, it will come in handy. During the trip, I did a lot of writing in my journal thanks to the table.
The economy coaches do not come with tables for each rider.
Better Air Conditioning
The first class coaches seemed cooler than the economy. It could be for many reasons but my theory is, the temperature in all the coaches are the same however, since the first class coaches have fewer people, the effect of the air conditioner is more intense. During my morning trip, it was so cold that I had to use my scarf as warm covering.
You can also have a look at the updated train schedule and timing here.