Government praised for railway revitalization

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Wilson Mogoba, Programmes Director of Transnet International Holdings (TIH), a South African Railway Operator, has described the speed with which the current government is transforming Ghana’s railway sector as highly impressive.

He commended the government for taking practical steps to revive the western railway line which has led to the commencement of passenger train service from Takoradi to Tarkwa.

Mr. Mogoba made the commendation when he and some officials of the company visited the rehabilitated Railway Training School at Essikado in the Western Region to assess the progress of work there.

He said a nine-member team of TIH was in Sekondi undertaking technical due diligence on the western railway line.

According to him, the team had been divided into two. He said one group would look at the Takoradi-Kumasi-Awaso line to know what needed to be fixed while the other group would focus on the locomotives, wagons, coaches and workshops.

Mr. Mogoba indicated that barring any unforeseen occurrence, the company would be mobilizing to site by the second quarter of this year after the signing of specific agreements.

The acting Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL), John Essel, said after it was realized that the level of decline in the railway system was so bad, there was the need to get an external support to help revamp the company, hence the collaboration with Transnet.

It would be recalled that in December last year, Transnet SOC Limited, a subsidiary of TIH, led by its chairperson, Dr. Popo Molefe, signed a rail revitalization agreement with GRCL and the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) for the restoration of the western railway line in Ghana.

The Presidents – Akufo-Addo and Cyril Ramaphosa of Ghana and South Africa respectively, witnessed the historic agreement.

Under the agreement, TIH was to rehabilitate the line between Takoradi and Tarkwa.

The scope of work included the rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure to ensure it was safe and reliable, refurbishing of the rolling stock comprising locomotives, wagons and coaches and where necessary supplement the rolling stock with additional ones from South Africa.

The rest included the joint management of the operations of the line with GRCL for it to become a viable commercial entity and skills development, as well as training through exchange programmes.

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