Ghana minister for transport Mike Hammah has announced plans to modernise the railway. In the first phase, attention will be concentrated on overhauling existing lines. The country’s rail network totals some 947km, concentrated in the south. With the exception of partial operations on the Western Line and the suburban services, Hammah pointed out, the other lines in the eastern and central areas are not operational.
A modern signal and telecommunication system is to be installed and the existing gauge converted from 1,067mm to 1,435mm, permitting an increase in speed from 56km/h to 160. The axle load is to be increased from 16 tonnes on the Western Line and 14 tonnes on the Eastern and Central Lines to 25 tonnes. In the medium to long term, feasibility studies are to look at a new suburban rail service from Accra to Kasoa, Winneba and Madina, as well as extending the railway to the north and connecting with the envisaged Ecowas line across West Africa. Other projects include construction of a “Tema-Akosombo multimodal freight service”.
The Ghana Railway Development Authority has invited bids from companies interested in undertaking construction and operation activities. Meanwhile Accra Area Engineer of the Ghana Railway company Michael Anyetei is quoted saying that proposals have been sent to the government for funds to improve the local system. He was reacting to comments by deputy minister of transport Dzifa Attivor following a tour of inspection during which overgrown tracks were brought to her attention. She emphasised government’s commitment to improving the railway. Anyetei gave the assurance that sleepers in poor condition were being replaced.
[ The report sent to us spoke of replacing “tract clippers”. We took this to mean “track sleepers”. – editor