The Ghana Railway Company Ltd. (GRCL) has refuted claims that the Accra-Nsawam railway line is a new construction by the Akufo-Addo government.
According to the company, the project that was carried out on the narrow-gauge line from Accra to Nsawam was a rehabilitation of the rail line.
The company seeks to make the clarifications to settle the issue on whether or not the government has reconstructed the rail line.
In a statement copied to Peacefmonline.com, the company noted that the Accra to Nsawam railway forms part of the Eastern railway line and was started in the year 1910 and completed in 1912.
”The line had since not undergone any major repair works until the recent rehabilitation project which started in May 2018. It is on record that in time past all such intervention (rehabilitation) had been carried out by Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) workers, with the recent one being track rehabilitation project that was undertaken by GRCL, between Achimota and Asaprochona from the year 2006 to 2010 after which the line was commissioned for train operation to start.
”Due to the successful implementation of the track rehabilitation between Achimota and Asaprochona by GRCL workers, the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) awarded a contract to GRCL to undertake track rehabilitation works from Accra to Nsawam and Kojokrom to Nsuta. This afforded GRCL the opportunity to employ over 500 workers to enable the early completion of the project. 15 railway engineers were directly involved in the rehabilitation after they had undergone training in China and South Africa.”
The Accra-Nsawam railway line, which stretches a distance of about 40km, is part of the Eastern Railway Line.
It has been used purposely for passenger rail services for the past ten (10) years providing transport services.
In July 2017, it became necessary that the railway line from Accra to Nsawam be examined due to its deteriorating state which had made it unsafe for commuters.
The Ministry of Railway Development constituted a team of experts to examine the state of the rail line and rolling stock.
A decision was made by the Ministry, after reading the findings by the experts, to close the Accra-Nsawam line to allow for a complete track rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation Plan and Timelines
Preliminary works, which included clearing of weeds, removal of worn-out rails, and ballast opening, commenced in October 2017.
After obtaining all the procurement approvals, actual work was scheduled to commence on Monday, May 21, 2018, but delayed till early July, 2018.
On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, a locomotive was cleared to successfully travel on the railway line from Accra to Nsawam.
But, during the maiden trial, the engineers discovered portions of the track formation bed between Amasaman and Kotoku had been compromised as a result of illegal sand winning activities and also encroachers along the Pokuase section had their wastewater channeled onto the railway line.
To safeguard the passengers using the railway line, a detailed track rehabilitation and ancillary works were undertaken.
The project was finally completed in November 2019 and a joint inspection of the rail line was conducted by the GRCL and the Ghana Railway Development Authority to determine the suitability of the track for operations.
This was followed by a free passenger service during the 2019 yuletide.