GHANA – The Ghana Railways Development Authority (GRDA) has handed over a US$2 million track maintenance equipment to the Ghana Railways Company Limited (GRCL).

GRDA said that the equipment will enable the Company undertake rehabilitation and maintenance of the country’s existing and under-construction rail lines with precision.

In 2017, the Authority – which owns the assets being operated by the Ghana Railways Company Limited – expanded the role of the Railway company to include rehabilitation of rail lines.

GRDA contracted the Company to execute the first phase of the rail masterplan of Ghana which was the rehabilitation of old existing rail lines.

With limited equipment, the Company has successfully rehabilitated the Accra to Tema, Accra to Nsawam and Kojokrom to Tarkwa rail lines.

However, the rehabilitation works were done mainly with rudimentary and unconventional methods including the use of simple tools like pickaxe, shovel, hammer and chisel.

To ensure that the rehabilitated lines are maintained with precision and in line with international best practices, the Authority procured and handed over the new track maintenance equipment to the Company.

The equipment features tamping units, traversing trolley, rail and sleeper machines, adjustable wrenches, tractor and motor car with crane, railroad loader among others.

During the equipment handover, Chief Executive Officer of GRDA, Richard Dombo said, “The Nana Addo administration wants to leave a lasting legacy and the legacy is not just the delivery of rehabilitated old lines, delivery of new standard gauge but more”.

“To ensure that the new lines that we will be delivering to the country will not fall into disuse or misuse we the Ghana Railways Development Authority through our contractor Amandi have taken delivery of the first tranche of maintenance equipment which comes in many gradings.”

He further noted that there is a programme to offer proper and continuous training for personnel who will handle the equipment.

In its quest to further modernize its railway sector, Ghana launched the Accra Skytrain project-a high-capacity public transport system that is completely automated and cost-efficient, using pneumatic propulsion technology.

According to a statement from AfDB, the system whose plans are in advanced stage will transport more than 380,000 passengers annually and create some 5,000 jobs during its implementation phase.