Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience

Anyone that has travelled from Abuja to Kaduna by train will attest to the fact that the Abuja – Kaduna train is a way better compared to any other train services we have in Nigeria. I can bet that the Abuja – Kaduna train services will beat anyone that is used to Nigeria public facilities service expectations.

It is a known fact that Nigeria lags behind in terms of maintaining public facilities (our maintenance culture is zero) but that’s not the case of Abuja to Kaduna train service. As at the time of publishing this article, the train and the terminals are still clean and well organized with on-time departure.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Mr Ikechi Uko smiling as he alight from the train

The Experience

The first time I travelled from Abuja to Kaduna was when a team of travel bloggers came to Abuja for “Abuja city tour” sponsored by travelstart. The second time was after the annual Abuja Jabama (M.I.C.E) event organized by the Akwaaba Travel Market. During the tour and event, we planned to tour Kejuru castle in Kaduna and we decided to go by train.

As you all know this is a modern era, we expected to get all the necessary information we need online and if possible purchase our ticket ahead of time.  After surfing the internet for a while, we saw the Nigeria Railway Corporation website and we thought all the answers to our queries will be answered. Lo and behold, the website was almost empty. The navigation was poor and not user-friendly.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Ghanaian tour operators

We hit the rock when we discovered that we (passengers) cannot purchase the tickets online unlike the airline where passengers can book ahead of time. In their own case, passengers have to go to the train station in order to make a booking. After that ugly experience, we were able to get information on the train schedule especially the departure and arrival time.

From the information we got, it was stated that the departure time is 7 am prompt so we had to plan on how to arrive at the station before departure time and also to get our tickets.

I left my house as early as 5 am in order to arrive at the station before my colleagues will arrive since we stayed at different locations. Luckily for me the moment I arrived, that was when my colleagues arrived too and we moved to get our tickets.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Abuja to Kaduna Ticket sample

As at then, First Class tickets went for N1,500 while economy tickets were N1,050. We wanted one person to purchase the ticket on our behalf instead of all of us to queue for the ticket. Surprisingly, the ticket sales rep refused. She said we can only purchase one at a time that means we all must queue to get our ticket by ourselves. To worsen the whole issue, passengers cannot purchase return ticket at the same station. You can only purchase at the return station.

We could not get the first class from Abuja so we opted for the economy class. After that, we moved to the waiting lounge which was still looking neat and well maintained. After some minutes, we moved to board the train.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience

Onboard The Train

I have already published an article on the different kinds of people you will meet onboard the train, you can read it here. Our seat number was indicated on the ticket so the moment we entered the train, we went straight to our seats. On the economy, the seats are arranged 3 in a row while in the first class it is two in a role.

At exactly 7 am prompt the train left Idu station to the next station. After 20 minutes we got to the next station (Kubwa station) where we had 5 minutes dwelling time. During this dwelling time, some passengers will drop while some entered.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Mr Ikechi and his Wife with Sir Kay, the Nanta Vice president, Abuja and Mr Nnaemeke of Newton Park Hotel, Abuja going to board the train to Kaduna

On entertainment, there were televisions hanged on each coach showing movies. I observed that some of the televisions had technical issues, they were not displaying properly.

If you were unable to prepare breakfast because of time, don’t worry there are foods available for purchase. The foods are rice, moi-moi, meat pie, tea, coffee, soft drinks etc. Midway into the journey; we bought meat pie and soft drink. The meat pie is N300 and it was yummy and worth the amount. I even bought extra for myself.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Food vendor on-board the Abuja to kaduna Train

On board the train, there are medical personals and security men. So there is nothing to be scared or worried about. The train is well secured and safe for all passengers.

The train was not that fast (not a speed train) but the journey from Abuja to Kaduna was really smooth and hitches free. We stopped at Kubwa, Jere, Rijana and finally arrived Rigasa the last station in Kaduna around 9.40am. That means, from Abuja to Kaduna by train is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. From Rigasa, we took a taxi to Kejuru for the day tour.


Since we were unable to purchase our return ticket at the Idu station, we left Kejuru Castel early so that we will get to Rigasa on time. We arrived at the train station early enough and we got the first class ticket this time. We passed through the same security process and board. We left Rigasa exactly 6 pm. The first class, to some extent, is better than the economy. There is enough space and if you are lucky, you will get a centre table where you can relax and do your work.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Amadi Inya at Rigasa train station

As a first class passenger, you are free to go to any of the coaches. You can move without hindrance, unlike the economy passengers that are restricted to the economy cabin alone. There is also a mini bar at the first class cabin.

Timetable (schedule)

Monday – Saturday Schedule (Timetable)


Departure and Arrival time

  1. 1st Trip: 7:00 am – 09:15
  2. 2nd Trip 9:50 am – 12:01
  3. 3rd Trip 14:20 (2:20 pm) – 17:00 (5 Pm)
  4. 4th 18:00 (6:00 pm) – 20:20 (8:20 pm)


Departure and Arrival time

  1. 1st Trip: 6:40 am – 08:43 am
  2. 2nd Trip: 10:35 am – 13:20
  3. 3rd Trip: 14:00 (2 pm) – 16:16
  4. 4th Trip: 18:00 (6 pm) – 20:20

Sunday Schedule (Timetable)


Departure and Arrival time

1st Trip: 12:30 – 15:02 (3:02 pm)

2nd Trip: 17:00 (5 pm) – 19:05 (7:05 pm)


Departure and Arrival time

1st Trip: 13:00 (1 pm) – 15:06 (3:06 pm)

2nd Trip: 16:00 (4:00 pm) – 18:21 (6:21 pm)

The cost

First class is now N2,500 and N3000 for express

Economy is now N1,300 and N1,500 for express

Getting to the Stations

Idu station, Abuja

The Idu station is located in a remote area. Although, the road leading to the station is in good condition and motorable. There are no commercial vehicles plying the road so you either arrange for a cab to drop or pick you at the station. There are road signs along the road.

Abuja to Kaduna by Train: Schedule, Cost and Experience
Idu Station Abuja

If you cannot afford the high price, you can take a cab and drop at Berger (it’s a very popular place in Abuja) from there, enter a taxi going to Karmo and stop at the last bus stop or tell the driver to stop you where you can get a bike to Idu industrial layout. From there, take a bike to the Idu station. The road from Karmo to Idu is somehow scary and lonely. There are no residential houses along the road. So, be careful.

From Berger to Karmo is 100 while Karmo to Idu with a bike is 200. Plus or minus its less than 500 from Berger (under the bridge) to the train station. A drop will be around 2,000 per way. I strongly recommend you take a cab to the station if you are new because of the route.

Kubwa, Abuja

Rigasa, Kaduna

Either you are coming from Sabo, barnawa etc ( generally called Kaduna South) Kaduna town, you can stop at kano road, there you will get bus going to Rigasa the train station for like #70

Travelling by train in Nigeria is one of the best time any traveller can do. It is cheap, secured and affordable.

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