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Idu Station Abuja Kaduna Train

The Abuja – Kaduna Train: All you Need to Know

by Joy Ajuluchukwu

Over the weekend, I took the Abuja – Kaduna train from Idu Station to Rigasa, Kaduna and I documented the entire trip with the hope this gives you a guide in the event you decide to take the train.

The Trip to the Train Station

I and my colleagues left the hotel in Jabi at 7:30am and arrived Idu Train Station at 7:53am. We used Bolt (Taxify) however, the green taxis also ply the route if you request.

For some reason, I thought the trip was for 9:15am but later realised it was 9:50am. That meant almost waiting 2 hours at the train station but it was not a problem at all as I had company.

The Train Station

When we got to the station, there was already a queue extending beyond the ticketing area. Fortunately, it was orderly and in 6 minutes, we bought our tickets. The pricing for the ticket is displayed on a wooden display board propped at the entry.

The display board within the ticketing area was turned off. I believe that would show the pricing available. We got the regular ticket which was going for N1,300. We intended to get the first class tickets however, we only found out the tickets were available after we had bought the regular. See the difference between first class and economy here.

The entire process was manual

  • You’ll have to ask specifically for the first class tickets to know if it is available or not as there is no indication or signage to inform travellers
  • You’re required to show a means of identification before purchasing your ticket. This is because your name will be written on the ticket
  • You’ll be required to fill a passengers’ list/manifest to complete the process.

The station is quite large compared to the Rigasa Station in Kaduna. There was sitting for available for about 200 persons in the waiting area. There is also a restaurant at the upper level named “VIP Lounge”. The signpost made me think it was a waiting area for the first class ticket holders however, when I went upstairs to take photos, I noticed it was a restaurant.

The main challenge with the train station is the absence of air conditioning. The windows are all shut and as the hall gets full, it gets really hot. The 4 standing fans don’t do so much for 200 persons except you’re seating close to them.

The Train and Stops

Boarding started at 9:30am, 20 minutes before departure time. There’s a staff directing all passengers to the coach though each coach is labelled with the seat number on the tickets to help easy identification.

We got into the train, found our seats and settled in. It was really quick and comfortable. There was a decent toilet, first aids equipment and snacks for sale. They only sell meat pie, water and soft drinks.

We arrived Kubwa at 10:07 a.m. A few minutes later than planned. A few more persons boarded the train and we left at 10:16. The tickets were over sold and people were left standing at the middle points of the train and around the doors. We also made a stop at Jere Station but no one got on board as these stations are yet to start functioning. It was around this point that your tickets would be punched by the NRC staff. The next stop was Rijana which we arrived at 11:36am.

Accessing the Train as a Person Living with Disability

Personally, I’m particular about public spaces being disability-friendly and the station would be very challenging for any person that is disabled. From the arrival to the waiting point, the facilities seem fine but once one tries to get on the train, it becomes a serious task.

There is an elevator however, this is really slow and not ideal for high foot traffic areas. An escalator would have been the best solution. If you’re reading this and know anyone who can fix this, please tell them an escalator would be the best solution for that station.

Arrival

We got into Kaduna at 12:18pm instead of 12:01 as was stated. The journey was really smooth and I will say, if you do have the time, you should travel by rail though the entire trip process is almost twice the time if you were going by road.

We arrived to a huge crowd at the other end hoping to also make the trip to Abuja.

The Train Schedule

If you would like to take the train, you can view the Abuja- Kaduna and Kaduna – Abuja train schedule here.

Observation

I made a couple of observations during the trip, some of which you probably know 🙂

  • The tickets are oversold and the entire process is manual. Just behind my seat, the seat was sold twice at the same station and there is no way to check it.
  • There are 6 ticketing booths but only 3 were functioning.
  • Some of the NRC Staff were not wearing any uniform so it can be challenging to tell who is assisting you.
  • The security personnels on board had no baton or light weapon (it probably was concealed).
  • There are a couple of random people at the station who are paid to carry baggages of travellers

Tips

  • If your trip starts from Abuja, I’d advise you go to the Idu Station as anything after that means you’ll stand all the way.
  • It is advised you come an hour before the trip however, if you’re able to come in 2 hours before the trip, you’ll be certain of getting tickets.
  • If you can afford the first class tickets, do get that instead.
  • The air conditioning may get too cool. Hold a jacket or shawl.
  • If you’re assigned a seat, do not stand because someone else who has been assigned the seat may seat on it.

Hope you find this helpful.

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14 comments

Mo April 18, 2019 - 10:48 pm

Wow… Your page is so informative and at the same time interesting. Bumping into your site was the best thing that happened to me in the search for various concerns with regards to Kaduna.
Thank you for the good work and keep it up!

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu April 20, 2019 - 6:44 pm

Hi MO, thank you for the kind words. Really glad I could help.
Don’t forget to sign up for the monthly newsletter here (www.bit.ly/knowkadunasub) and also share with me what you’d like to read on the blog. 🙂

Reply
Ben May 25, 2019 - 10:53 am

Thanks for the information
Please how about Kaduna to Ilorin Train

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu May 25, 2019 - 11:29 am

Hello Ben, I don’t have information about the Kaduna – Ilorin train but once I do, I’ll share.

Reply
Sam July 2, 2019 - 9:16 am

Interesting read…well documented!

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu July 2, 2019 - 12:42 pm

Thank you.

Reply
Amaka July 9, 2019 - 1:47 am

I found this very helpful. Thanks!

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu July 11, 2019 - 2:08 am

Really glad I could help.

Reply
Aminu August 22, 2019 - 11:50 am

You did well god blessed you.

Reply
Mukhtar July 29, 2019 - 10:48 pm

Joy…. This is great. Keep up the good work.wish you all the best.

Reply
Ibrahim August 15, 2019 - 10:30 am

Thats a detailed explanation as regards the Train journey from Abuja to Kaduna. Please what is the ticket price for children and for minors also (Less than 2 years) .

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu August 30, 2019 - 9:42 am

The ticket price is the same for all persons at the moment.

Reply
K Azare September 7, 2019 - 11:39 am

Masha Allah
I read this information and it really helps our group going to Kaduna. Thanks

Reply
Joy Ajuluchukwu September 7, 2019 - 6:31 pm

I’m really glad you found this helpful.

Reply

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