Abuja Light Rail

Enlarge Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway Rapid transit
Abuja Rail Mass Transit
LocaleFederal Capital Territory
Transit typeLight metro
Number of lines2 (1 operational)
Line numberYellow line, Blue line
Number of stations12 (3 operational)
System length42.5 km (26.4 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
System map
Abuja Rail Mass Transit.svg

Abuja Rail Mass Transit commonly known as Abuja Light Rail is a light rail transport system in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. It is the first rapid transit system in the country and in West Africa and the second such system in sub-saharan Africa (after Addis Ababa Light Rail). The first phase of the project connects the city center to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, stopping at the Abuja-Kaduna Railway station in Idu. The Abuja Metro Line was launched on 12 July 2018[1][2] and opened for passengers the following week.[3]


A light rail system serving Abuja had begun planning in 1997, but was delayed due to funding issues. CCECC Nigeria was awarded a contract for the construction of the first two phases, known as Lots 1 and 3, in May 2007.[4]

The 42.5 km (26.4 mi) first phase has two lines and 12 stations opened in July 2018, connecting Abuja city centre with the international airport via the Lagos–Kano Standard Gauge Railway at Idu. The projected cost of the entire proposed 290 km (180 mi) network, to be developed in six phases, is US $824 million, constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, with 60% of the cost funded by loans from the Exim Bank of China.[5]


Idu Station Terminal Outside
Idu Station Route
Idu Station Platform

Upon opening in 2018, only the section between Abuja Metro Station and the Airport was operational, with an intermediate station at Idu. The remaining nine stations were not in operation, and are due to open in 2020.

The rolling stock used for this line initially consisted of only three diesel rail coaches. A further three are scheduled to be delivered in mid-2020.[6]

From opening, the rail line operated on a significantly reduced timetable in comparison to other worldwide light rail systems; with three daily departures from Idu to Abuja Metro Station, with two running the full length to the airport, on weekdays only.[7] The delivery of further rolling stock is anticipated to provide services every thirty minutes.


The first part of the network was commissioned on July 12, 2018, twelve stations opened in this first phase.[8]

Yellow line

The Yellow line travels from Abuja's Central Business District to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Stations Location
Abuja Metro 9°03′02″N 7°28′19″E / 9.0505°N 7.4719°E / 9.0505; 7.4719
Stadium 9°02′45″N 7°27′06″E / 9.0459°N 7.4517°E / 9.0459; 7.4517
Kukwaba I 9°02′25″N 7°26′28″E / 9.0402°N 7.4410°E / 9.0402; 7.4410
Kukwaba II 9°01′50″N 7°25′21″E / 9.0306°N 7.4226°E / 9.0306; 7.4226
Wupa 9°01′29″N 7°23′42″E / 9.0247°N 7.3950°E / 9.0247; 7.3950
Idu 9°02′48″N 7°20′32″E / 9.0466°N 7.3421°E / 9.0466; 7.3421
Bassanjiwa 9°00′49″N 7°16′57″E / 9.0136°N 7.2824°E / 9.0136; 7.2824
Airport 9°00′22″N 7°16′19″E / 9.0062°N 7.2720°E / 9.0062; 7.2720

Blue Line

The Blue Line travels from Idu to Kubwa.

Stations Location
Idu 9°02′48″N 7°20′32″E / 9.0466°N 7.3421°E / 9.0466; 7.3421
Gwagwa 9°05′24″N 7°17′07″E / 9.0901°N 7.2852°E / 9.0901; 7.2852
Deidei 9°06′22″N 7°17′14″E / 9.1061°N 7.2872°E / 9.1061; 7.2872
Kagini 9°07′28″N 7°17′32″E / 9.1245°N 7.2922°E / 9.1245; 7.2922
Gbazango 9°09′13″N 7°18′40″E / 9.1536°N 7.3110°E / 9.1536; 7.3110

Future expansion

A network totalling 290 km (180 mi) is proposed, divided into six phases or 'lots'.[9] Lots 1 and 3 have finished construction.

See also


  1. ^ "Abuja Light Rail: Buhari Launches, Inspects Airport Terminal". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  2. ^ "Abuja Rail Mass Transit takes off Thursday after 11 years". Businessday NG. 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  3. ^ Achirga, Abraham (18 July 2018). "Light rail line in Nigeria's capital opens to passengers". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
  4. ^ "Abuja Light Rail System, Abuja, Nigeria". Railway Technology. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ "First phase of Abuja light rail opens". International Railway Journal. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Nigeria: China to Supply Three Abuja Light Rail Coaches Mid 2020". allAfrica. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. ^ "How Abuja rail line launched by President Buhari works". Premium Times. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Buhari to commission $823.5m Abuja light rail on Thursday". Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  9. ^ "Why expansion of Abuja light rail may take longer time than expected". Business Day. 2 February 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.