Life

Catching Trips

Hello my beautiful, blossoming, blessed and beloved people.

Though I am a bit late to the party, sometime this month, I finally took the not-so-new Ibadan-to-Lagos train. My mother and I had some business to attend in Abeokuta, and my sister was going to Lagos, so we all decided to take the train. Apparently I was the only member of my family who had not taken the train since launch; my sister has taken it at least ten times. Best in railway.

In Ibadan, the train station is at Moniya, that’s after UI, after Ojoo, for some reference point. The train station is about five minutes away from the Moniya garage, and should cost at most 100 Naira to take a bike or tricycle there. The train takes off from Ibadan at 8am, Monday through Friday, and we arrived at the station by 7:40am. Here’s more information on prices and timing:

We went on to get the tickets: two for Abeokuta, and one for Lagos. They only take cash payments (are we in the 19th century?) but there’s a POS machine there in case you need to withdraw some cash.

Few minutes after, the train arrived at the station, and we needed to carry our luggage into the train. My sister had quite a number of heavy luggage, but we found someone to help her carry them, and we gave him a tip afterwards.

We boarded the train, but were in different coaches, as the Abeokuta and Lagos coaches were separated. Our tickets had allocated seat numbers on them, so we went ahead and took our seats.

I settled down and noticed that the temperature was not too cold, as I had been told before that the air conditioning was usually set to unreasonably low temperatures, and I had even packed a sweater along, but alas. It might have also been corner I sat in too oh.

I was pleased to find a USB charging port by my seat.

As the paragon of beauty that I am, I took some quick shots.

As I was taking some pictures, something happened. A family came to our seat and said one of them had been allocated my seat. I thought that was impossible, until we compared tickets and in true Nigerian fashion, we had the same seat numbers. Luckily, there were more than enough seats available, so the train staff directed them away.

At 7:58am, it was announced over the P.A system, that the train would takeoff in two minutes. At exactly 8am, it took off, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw two ladies running to catch the train but it was too late. Much sad.

The trip started, and from my seat I could see two small TV screens showing a movie, though there was no sound. Maybe for the aesthetics, I thought.

Then my sister left her Lagos coach to join us in our Abeokuta coach (is that legal, beloved?) When she looked up at the TV screen, she shook her head, saying, ‘not again.’ I laughed and asked her what the matter was.

She told me that that was the same movie that had played on every train ride she’s taken since January. I also found the movie curious because every time I looked up at the screen the actor was always making a phone call, and I am not joking. I checked out the movie on the internet, it’s called Intersection, and here is an IMDb review.

Hm.

Twenty minutes into the trip, our tickets came to be stamped. From there on out, it was pretty uneventful and I read a few chapters of a book I had packed along.

We arrived at Abeokuta at exactly 9am, and the precise timing shocked me.

When we alighted, I noticed that the Abeokuta station was still under a lot more construction than Ibadan’s. I counted about 6 other train tracks, and I hope that means more trains and routes are in the works.

My hope is that things don’t go the Nigerian way, and the train services are well maintained, as that will be nice for a change. Overall, it was a chill experience and would recommend for group trips and such fun things.

Till next time, my beautiful, blessed and blossoming people!

7 Comments

  • Oladotun Davies

    The interior looks pretty nice. I hope to travel by train (for the first time) sometime this year.
    The government will do well to get the private sector involved in this train business. It has proven to be our most reliable way of ensuring proper maintenance of infrastructure.

  • Joseph

    Quite an interesting read. But the cash only payment, that’s too archaic and a sure conduit for corruption.

    Thus is 21st century, setting up an online payment platform for tickets shouldn’t be that hard again. Phew!

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