Passengers of the newly-introduced Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) train, on Tuesday urged the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to provide toilets in the two available trains.
The passengers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the train was basically for underground rail system where toilets facilities should be provided at every station.
The trains which will be introduced on June 10, 2014, will transit from Ijoko in Ogun to Ido and Apapa in Lagos.
The introduction was greeted with protests by some irate passengers over a fare of N750 per trip. The protest was also over an increase in fare of the locomotive system from N150 to N230 per trip.
The protest led to the damage of one of the DMU trains and setting ablaze of the Itoki Rail Station in Ogun – the protests eventually led to arrests.
Mrs Ronke Hassan, a passenger at Agbado in Ogun, noted that DMU trains were used in countries with underground rail system.
“In several advanced countries I’ve traveled to, DMUs are basically underground.
“This is because stations in underground rail system are not porous like the surface stations in Nigeria.
“Every station in an underground rail system is provided with all necessary facilities, including toilets, eateries, bank outlets, shopping complex, recreation centres and what have you.
“A passenger can get down from a train in an underground rail system at many stations as possible to make use of any of the provided facilities.
“This is because passengers no longer need to buy tickets again after getting down from a train so long as they remain underground.
“In surface station, your ticket expires after getting down from a train,” Hassan said.
According to her, train stations in Nigeria still lacked required facilities to cope with DMU trains.
Another passenger, Mr Godwin Braithwaite, told NAN: “In a locomotive engine, toilets facilities are provided in every coach and used by passengers when the trains are not congested.
“Besides, DMU trains stop at specific stations, unlike the locomotive train that stops at every station.
Mallam Bashir Inuwa, a train user at Agege, regretted that the DMU trains were less congested and faster but lacked toilets.
Inuwa said that he joined the DMUs to avoid road congestion, but noted that the N750 fare was high.
Mr Akin Osinowo, the NRC Lagos District Manager (RDM), told NAN that DMUs was supposed to be fast.
“On a normal trip, a journey in the DMUs supposed to take between 15 and 30 minutes,” Osinowo said.