The Minister for Railways Development, Hon. Joe Ghartey, has assured the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that the Tema to Mpakadan Railway line will be completed in August 2020.
Taking President Akufo-Addo on a tour of the project on Wednesday, 4th December, 2019, the final day of the President’s tour of the Greater Accra Region, he explained that construction of the railway track was conceived as a “port to port Project” in 2007, under the Kufour era.
As a result, in 2007, a contract was signed for feasibility study to be conducted for a Tema to Buipe multimodal transport system via Akosombo. In furtherance of this, in November 2016, an agreement was approved by Parliament for a Tema to Akosombo railway line.
President Akufo-Addo addressing workers of Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) siad his Government’s commitment to building a first class railway network in Ghana in order to revamp the sector which has deteriorate over the years since colonial rule ended in Ghana.
He said as part of the last day of his three day tour of the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo said a lot has gone wrong in our country after we got independence, but one of the worse is to have allowed the nation’s railway infrastructure to deteriorate.
“The British left us a functioning railway system, we didn’t look after it, and we allowed it to deteriorate. For this part of the twenty fist (21st) century, a major responsibility is on you, on me, my successors, to rebuild the railway infrastructure in our country” President Akufo-Addo stated.
“It is obvious that rail transport is environmentally friendly, it is efficient, it is less costly and it is generally a more intelligent way of moving people and goods than any other form of transport.
Other people have got first class railway systems in the world, Ghana we are going to have a first
class railway system in our country” President Akufo-Addo added.
Minister responsible for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, in his remarks noted that by 2023, Ghana must have a viable railway sector that will meet the transportation needs of the citizenry.
He further indicated that over ten (10) coaches which were to be scrapped were rehabilitated in the workshop where the gathering was being held by the hard working GRCL workers.
“In 2016, over hundred coaches were sold as scrap. In 2017 we decided that we would review the policy of selling coaches as scrap and we will see whether it is possible to refurbish some of the coaches. A brand new coach Mr. President cost about five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00), the cost of refurbishing is about fifty thousand dollars ($50, 000.00). Out of the twenty seven (27) coaches that were left after over hundred were sold as scrap, we have repaired ten (10)” the Railway Minister said.
President Akufo-Addo commended the staff of GRCL for their efforts at refurbishing the country’s old coaches instead of the previous policy of selling them off as scrap.
“I am very impressed to hear that the old policy of selling coaches as scrap has been itself scrapped and that this new policy of repairing our coach stock has already produced such positive results” President Akufo-Addo said.