Osogbo By Rail, 2011
My first interstate rail ride was on Eid, September 2011. The governor of Osun state at that time, Ogbeni Aregbeshola declared a free interstate rail ride enroute Lagos ↔ Osogbo. I was in Osogbo.
Most students enroute Ibadan, Abeokuta, Lagos joined this train. While some of my friends got seats in the first-class cabin, I didn’t.
According to their experience, there was an AC unit, the windows shut [so they didn’t hear the horn] and a TV playing an Aki and Pawpaw Comedy Movie. This was a better setup than where I was.
My cabin was noisy, had domestic animals like goats and chickens and the train’s horn was our soundtrack. For the experience, I was enjoying my self until someone stole my Victory’s wallet.
This is how it happened!
There was almost an accident. The train hit a car that was stuck on the rail, the driver escaped alive and uninjured, Victory ran to the door to see what had happened. The questions of how, who, when, where still unanswered till date.
It was at that point it hit us “Shine Ya Eyes”
Ibadan By Rail, 2017
When Tolani suggested a trip to Ado Awaye two days before the Eid holiday in September 2017, Ebitu and I were ready to go!
We planned to travel by rail to Ibadan, have a sleepover in Ibadan before heading to Ado Iwoye. For this trip, we hoped for the best but expected the worst.
The train was scheduled to leave at 11am.
We didn’t leave till past two. Nigerian Time 🤦♀️
Addo station was crowded, it appeared as though people passed the night at the station. The ticket queue was long and the officers-in-charge weren’t there to sell tickets at 10am.
Finally, the train was ready to board, we found a comfortable seat in first class. It had a table and sockets to charge… And the sockets were working too👍🏾👍🏾
The first-class cabin was scanty, almost like we had it to ourselves. We turned the aisle into our runway, took so many pictures, I danced, Tolani danced and Ebitu danced.
Unlike my Osogbo ↔ Lagos trip, this was less chaotic. In fact, the only that seemed like chaos was the elderly woman across us who chose to play all the songs on her phone throughout the trip.
At around 5PM our trained detached for the first time. We left about 8 cabins behind. The Engineers fixed it in about 30 minutes.
The toilet was more like a hole in the train. Do ‘number 1 or 2‘ and it drops directly on the tracks.
About 3 hours on the rail and we were already thinking of we’d have gotten to Ibadan if we went by road. We ordered noodles, talked about derailment stories we had read on the internet, took photos of the landscape and we slept.
…8PM Not So Scary Story
In the middle of nowhere, around 8PM the train detached again, this time about 10 cabins were left behind.
We went hoping from cabin to cabin to see the end and peep the part of the train left behind. The sleeper cabin doesn’t look comfortable but it looked like a better option for travellers going farther than we were. The train was heading to the north.
On this epic journey, we discovered the economy cabins we can across were either completely dark. So, the passengers had to use their phones/torchlights to brighten the room. It looked like a disaster.
Why O Why???
The rest of the trip had three energetic, adventure-loving people looking worn out. It was no longer fun. At around past 11pm, we arrived the Ibadan terminal.
We spent over 10 hours getting to Ibadan.
Ever travelled by rail in Nigeria? Share in the comment box below.