The Nigerian Railway Corporation on Sunday warned the public to stop all unauthorised activities and trading on its tracks in order to end unnecessary killings by trains.
The NRC Lagos State Railway District Manager, Jerry Oche, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Oche, said that so many deaths on rail tracks were preventable, adding that the tracks remained the property of the NRC.
According to him, nobody is expected to be on the tracks except agents of NRC who are on official duty.
He said: “As far as NRC is concerned, the tracks are NRC’s property and no unauthorised person has the right to use or walk on it.
“NRC has the right of way even on most roads because the roads contain the tracks.
“The tracks are on acquired land by NRC. So whenever anyone wants to use the tracks, such must obtain permission from the NRC.’’
Oche expressed concern about people that had been killed by the train while either working or walking on the tracks and got carried away that they did not hear the blaring of the horn.
According to him, when a train is moving, it cannot stop suddenly during emergency because of the momentum and velocity at which it moves.
He added that it would take a long distance to stop a moving train even during emergency situations.
He said: “Don’t forget that if a train stops suddenly, it can jeopardise the lives of passengers on board.
“NRC is a government agency and our duty is to protect lives and property. The reason why we always warn people to stay out of the tracks and stop riding on the roof of a moving train.”
On the menace of train’s rooftop riders, the NRC boss said that the corporation had not given up on it.
Oche said that the corporation was working with other government agencies to put up measures that would stop such “suicidal act”.
According to him, a man lost his life while trying to jump on a moving train at Ikeja and he missed his step and got crushed.
He said: “It is sad that he (deceased) is late now and l can’t sit him down to explain why he should not do such thing again because many had died in such instances.’’
Oche urged all intending passengers to always board a passenger train, buy their tickets and enter the train to get a seat.
According to him, if seats have been exhausted before a train gets to the station of a passenger who has already bought a ticket, such a passenger has the right to return the ticket for a refund if he or she cannot wait for the next train.
Oche cautioned: “Stop hanging on the train or riding on the rooftop of a moving train; desist from walking; trading on rail tracks; your life is very precious.’’