Ghana’s railway sector gets a lifeline after President Akufo-Addo hands them $230 million to revamp

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given approval for the Ministry of Railways Development to use $230 million to purchase rolling stocks in line with the masterplan to revamp the railway sector.

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo

The rolling stocks are any vehicles that move on a railway, including both powered and unpowered vehicles, such as locomotives, railroad cars, coaches, and wagons.

The Minister of the Sector, Mr Joe Ghartey made the revelation at a press briefing on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.

According to him, the idea to purchase the stocks is to ensure that by the time development of the rail lines, including new ones and the ones being rehabilitated under the Ghana Railway Masterplan were ready, the rolling stocks would be available to test the lines.

"That will be the largest amount of rolling stock that has been bought in a single time since independence… we are buying 30 locomotives, we are buying coaches, we are buying wagons and so on. We haven’t placed the orders yet, because we have consultants who are looking at what kind of cargo, do you need, vans that can take oil and so on,” the minister said.

He further explained that it takes between 12 and 18 months for rolling stock to be ready after it had been ordered.

"The least time to get a rolling stock is between 18 and 12 months. Rolling stock is not like a car, you can go and buy it. And so, we are running out of time, there could be a situation where some of the lines would be finished, and we will have no rolling stocks to test them.”

Background

Last year, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the railway sector, which was virtually non-existent before his administration took office on January 7, 2017, is being revived and resurrected.

He explained that rehabilitation work on the fifty-six kilometre narrow gauge line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta is nearing completion, and will lead to the restoration of passenger rail services from Tarkwa to Takoradi for the first time since 2007.

The sector has also signed two agreements with the Chinese Government to secure a $1 billion loan to refurbish railway transportation in the country.

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