Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Takoradi, Sept. 19, GNA - The Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) has successfully carried out a test run on the 56km Kojokrom to Tarkwa railway line in the Western Region.
Passenger service on the Kojokrom to Tarkwa line had been out of service since September 13, 2007, but in January 2019, the GRCL took over the line for rehabilitation works as part of its first phase of rehabilitation of the existing narrow-gauge line with funding from Government of Ghana.
The delegation onboard the train for the test run, included the Chief Director of the Ministry of Railways Development, Mr Siisi Essuman-Ocran, the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Railways Development, Naa Kwarley Quartey and the Managing Director of Ghana Railway Company, Mr John Essel.
The rest are, Deputy Managing Director of GRCL Dr. Michael Adjei Anyetei, Traffic Manager of GRCL, Ms Comfort Awinya, Secretrary General of Ghana Railway Workers Union, Mr Godwill Ntarmah as well as some technical team and administrative staff of GRCL.
The Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company Limited Dr. Michael Adjei Anyetei, in an interview said with GNA, said more than 300 rail workers were involved in the rehabilitation works.
According to him, they re-aligned the rail tracks, changed over thirty thousand sleepers and also undertook ballasting of the tracks.
Dr. Anyetei said the successful test run to Tarkwa was a positive move and indicated that the GRCL would have continuous test runs to ensure the safety of the line for commercial services.
He assured the public that the Kojokrom to Tarkwa line would be fully operational in October 2019.
Dr Adjei explained that the 51km Kojokrom to Nsuta line, which was operational for only goods and carries Manganese from the Mines in Nsuta to the Ports of Takoradi for export, also saw some rehabilitation works as it has not been in very good condition.
The Secretary-General of the Ghana Railway Workers Union, Mr Godwill Ntarmah was happy with the level of work carried out by his colleagues.
He lauded the Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey for his selfless dedication and hard work to revamp the railway sector.
He said workers of GRCL were ever ready to support President Akufo-Addo to realize his vision of leaving a legacy of a modern rail network.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, Mr Gilbert Ken Asmah was full of praise for the Akufo-Addo led Government.
He said the return of the Kojokrom to Tarkwa train would change the economic fortunes of the people of the area and its adjourning communities.
Mr Asmah assured the GRCL that the Assembly was ready to support them clear all illegal squatters, who have defied orders to move, for their safety and that of the train service.
Chief Director at the Ministry of Railways Development, Mr Siisi Essuman-Ocran, who represented the Sector Minister, congratulated the workers of GRCL for their hard work and dedication in supporting the Ministry to achieve its mandate.
He said the Ministry has made adequate provision in the 2019/2020 budget to continue to support GRCL in its effort to strengthen the existing narrow-gauge lines, adding that, the Government was taking the necessary steps for the construction of the standard gauge lines, in line with the railway master plan.