Some of the maintenance equipment
The Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) has taken delivery of a number of track maintenance equipment to augment its capacity in maintaining both the existing and yet-to-be constructed rail lines.
The move signifies a new dawn of hope for the country’s ailing railway sector and also indicates government’s commitment and unflinching interest in the development of the country’s rail network.
The ultra-modern equipment purchased by the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) through its contractor, Amandi Holdings, included ballast tamping set, rail profile grinding machine, tamping jacks, rail lifting jacks and hydraulic weld shear.
The rest are combination points and crossing track machine, ratchet drill, ballast forks and shovels, fishbolt wrenches, coach screwing machines, traversing trolley machine, rail drilling machines, sleeper drilling machine and electronic hand-pushed trolley amber among others.
At a brief ceremony to hand over the new machines to officials of the GRCL, Mr Richard Dombo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRDA said what befell the railway sector was lack of maintenance.
“Until the creation of the Ministry of Railway Development, Ghanaians were witnesses to the fact that the railway network in the country was nothing to write home about. It had grounded to a halt.
“We are grateful to the current government and President Akufo-Addo for the creation of the ministry which in collaboration with other stakeholders had ensured the revival of the railway sector,” he stressed.
He mentioned that the GRDA contracted the GRCL to undertake phase-one of the Railway Master Plan which included the rehabilitation of the existing rail lines.
“It was a herculean task because the railway workers had to adopt the manual way of rehabilitation since there was no equipment for the job.
“But they managed to rehabilitate the Accra-Nsawam line which will soon be in operation, the Accra-Tema line and the Kojokrom-Tarkwa line,” he added.
Mr Dombo said the current NPP government would like to leave a lasting legacy in the railway sector which would not only be the rehabilitation of the lines but also ensuring that routine maintenance was done.
To this end, Mr Dombo said the government, through his outfit, had purchased the first tranche of equipment for routine maintenance works on the rail lines.
The acting Managing Director of GRCL, Mr. John Essel explained that the rehabilitation of the existing rail lines was done manually.
“So the only way to ensure whether the lines were good or not was to run trains on them, hence the problems we encountered during the free passenger services.”
“Now my happiness is that with these equipment we will now be able to check and improve on whatever we have done in the past,” he said.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi