The government is set to construct 4,000 kilometers of standard gauge railway lines across the country in the foreseeable future per the 2020 Railway Master Plan.
Currently, railway accounts for less than one per cent of the transport sector and the government is poised to make railway a strategic parity and not an auxiliary system to boost inter-modal transport system in the country.
The 2020 Master Plan also provides the roadmap to spur integrated industrial enterprises in Ghana; similar to what is happening in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Railway Development Authority, Yaw Owusu disclosed this at a stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on the new Railway Master Plan held in Takoradi on Thursday.
It was the second of such conferences to be held in three locations across the country. The first one was held in Accra in March this year.
The 2020 Railway Master Plan is a revision of the 2013 one and the workshop was to solicit inputs and feedback for the 2020 Master Plan and incorporate all collated feedback and inputs into the review of the next Railway Master Plan in 2025.
Mr. Owusu mentioned that there is no doubt that it is a daunting task to construct 4,000km of standard gauge railway network across the country.
He, however, indicated that for starters, government is constructing the 97 kilometer Tema-Mpakadan railway line which is near completion, adding, “This project is part of the 800 kilometers railway line linking the Southern part of Ghana from Tema Port to the Northern part at Paga.”
He explained that the project has a branch line from Bimbilla to Sheini, where large deposits of Iron Ore has been discovered.
He also mentioned the 80 kilometer railway line from Takoradi Port to Huni Valley, which continues to Dunkwa, Awaso and Nyinahin to benefit the Manganese mines at Nsuta and the Bauxite mines at Awaso and Nyinahin.
“This is a 42-month project and immediate target is to get to Nsuta by the end of 2024 to optimise the Manganese production.
‘”The 6 kilometer double line from Kaase to Adum in Kumasi is also ongoing,” he pointed out.
He noted that discussions are also far advanced to construct Accra to Nsawam, Achimota to Tema and Eduadin to Obuasi lines, which are all standard gauge rails.
He said it has been established throughout the world that the path to industrialisation goes through an efficient railway system, adding, “And the President’s vision to revamp the sector has all the hallmarks of industrialisation.”
“It takes an ambitious and visionary leader to embark on such highly capital intensive infrastructure projects.
“His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo therefore deserves high approbation,” he pointed out.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi