From Alfred Adams, Sekondi
A technical team from South African Transnet International Holdings has arrived in Sekondi to survey the rail infrastructure within the Western enclave.
At a meeting with the Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Wilson Mogoaba, announced that the team would undertake assessment of the country’s rail infrastructure within a week to see which areas it could partner the country and confirm the type of fleet that would be required.
That would also inform which equipment and devices it would need to undertake the rail infrastructure development, including training it could offer to beef up the local Ghana Railway Company team.
Wilson Mogoaba said his team is committed to working with its Ghanaian counterpart to connect the rail lines to Kumasi.
It would also unlock the passenger service train from Accra, Nsawam and Tema.
Mr. Joe Ghartey, who recently returned from South Arica, after interacting with the team welcomed them.
Mr. Ghartey said Ghana Railways has survived because of the resilience of the workers of the company, who had taken it upon themselves to rehabilitate the rail lines.
He said the government was committed to liberate the railways and transform its standard gauge line.
That does not, however, mean the single narrow line would be abandoned.
Currently, work is speedily on going on the 5-kilometre standard line from Kojokrom to Eshiam. The cost is being borne by the Government of Ghana.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Railways Development Authority, together with a team of press men, recently inspected the lines.
As part of measures to modernise the Ghana Railway Training School, the sector Minister told the South African delegation that Ghana Railways had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) to transform the Railway Training School into University of Railways and Infrastructure that would serve the people of the Sekondi Metropolis.
According to him, first batch of students would be admitted into the school in September this year.
Transnet International Holdings is anticipating to provide 24 passenger coaches and three power vans for the Accra-Nsawam line.
Transnet is entering into a long-term partnership to revive, operate and manage rail transport, and is also expected to bring minerals wagons, coaches and locomotives as part of the interim move to revive rail transport in the country.
The Ghana Railways has been on the decline for some years until the previous administration secured a loan to rehabilitate the Takoradi Kojokrom passenger line.
President Akufo-Addo, upon assumption of office, appointed a Minister in charge of Railways Development, to ensure the total rehabilitation and development of the country’s rail lines.
This has seen keen investors show interest in the development of the rail line with the coming on board of Transnet International Holdings.