The Ghana Railway Company Limited has taken delivery of new track maintenance equipment for regular and effective maintenance works on rail lines provided them by the Ministry for Railway Development. This, according to the Railway Development Authority, is to enhance the delivery of proper maintenance works on Ghana’s rail network.
The equipment includes a hydraulic rotation unit, a sleeper drilling machine, two rail drilling machines, a traversing trolley, a tamping unit, and a coach screwing machine, among other equipment and spare parts. They cost the country two million dollars ($ 2 million).
At a short ceremony to hand over the equipment to the Ghana Railway Company Limited at the Amandi Yard at Railway Location, Ketan, the Chief Executive of the Railway Development Authority, Richard Dombo said it is their expectations that the arrival of the equipment will help reduce the rate of derailment on our lines.
“An accident is something you cannot predict, and even the most technically advanced equipment like spacecraft blow upon takeoff. But all I can assure you is that hitherto with the lack of maintenance equipment, we were more prone to accidents, but with the acquisition of track maintenance equipment, proper maintenance will be undertaken and all things being equal, that there will be a reduction in the spate of derailment,” he said.
According to him, the railway network of the country was grounded for a very long time, and it took the Ghana Railway Company Limited to resuscitate it, and therefore with the right retooling, he believes the company will be able to lead the transformation being pursued in the sector.
“If you do not maintain the best of equipment, it will fall into disuse, disrepair, and all together come to a halt. And that’s what it is. The railway system we had in the country ground to a halt. There was no functioning train between Accra – Nsawam and Koforidua, up to now. Accra-Tema was patchy; you heard about derailment left, right, and center until 2017 when the Railway Development Authority and the Railway Development Minister decided to suspended that we will line until further notice, and then we brought the GRCL to go outside their comfort zone; to do that which they were not meant to do, i.e. you were doing track maintenance, but now will go beyond track maintenance and do track rehabilitation.
“And because that was not their core function, they didn’t have that equipment so they did everything manually. With the experience they’ve gathered over the last three years, we have now acquired track maintenance equipment to augment the work they’re doing, and not only augment it, but to enhance the pace of monitoring and maintaining the network as it increases. Because we are definitely increasing the network,” Mr. Dombo narrated.
Mr. Richard Dombo hinted that the Nsawam-Koforidua line will soon witness the commencement of work and therefore the arrival of new equipment will greatly influence the work.
“Very soon there will be the commencement of work on the Nsawam to Koforidua line, and equipment like these could not come too soon, because, for the other three that I talked about, they were all done manually. But now, we have the equipment to speed up, and not only speed but now get you a technically sound rehabilitation, which is the essence of what we’re doing today,” he added.