The Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, has assured 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, 4 December 2019, the final day of the President’s tour of the Greater Accra Region, Mr Ghartey explained that construction of the railway track was conceived as a “port-to-port project” in 2007, under the Kufuor era.
As a result, in 2007, a contract was signed for a 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.
The minister added that upon assumption of office of the Akufo-Addo government in January 2017, the agreement approved by Parliament was reviewed for a number of reasons.
The reasons included a possible effect on the Akosombo dam since the project involved drilling a tunnel through rocks to the Akosombo port. The tunnel, he said, was only going to be 60 metres away from the Akosombo dam at one point.
Security concerns, in addition to the inability to create other associated economic activities around the rail terminal at the Akosombo port, resulted in the review.
“The line has been redesigned as the Tema to Mpakadan line. It now crosses the Volta River, and it is 10 kilometres more than the original length. The line is now 97 kilometres,” Mr Ghartey added.
Thus far, the minister told President Akufo-Addo that 28 kilometres of track has been laid, with the contractor promising that 40 more kilometres of track will be completed by the end of this year.
The project, which will be completed in August of 2020, is a modern, standard gauge rail line.
Workshop for Retrofitting and Repairing of Coaches
Later in the day, at Tema, President Akufo-Addo visited the workshop set up for the retrofitting and refurbishment of train coaches.
The facility was built under the Kufuor-led NPP government, with the workshop, presently serving as the centre for the maintenance of all railway coaches and diesel multiple units.
Mr Joe Ghartey revealed that 10 coaches, which were, hitherto, declared unserviceable, have been rehabilitated at the workshop by workers of the Ghana Railway Company Ltd.
GRCL, in its quest to bring private sector participation and knowledge sharing into the operations of the company, signed an agreement with Ghana National Association of Garages, Suame Magazine on 11 November 2019 to refurbish one of GRCL’s old coaches.
The refurbishment works entail auto-building, metal set fabrication, lining and provision of air conditioners, television and DVD player in the coach. All of these will be done in this workshop.