After 50 years of neglect, govt takes steps to relaunch the railway system

“We are confident, 2019 will witness the re-launch of the railway system in Ghana”, the Finance Minister has assured. Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta said government is pumping one billion cedis into the railway sector to ensure that the country recovers from the 50 years of neglect. The assurance is contained in the 2019 budget statement to Parliament on Thursday under the theme, “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity”. Leading this hope is the proposed 596km Greenfield Railway Line from Kumasi to Paga, popularly known as the Central Spine, whose feasibility studies he said has been undertaken. The first phase, from Kumasi to Buipe section is expected to commence in 2019. In a bid to ensure that the project when completed will be properly maintained, the Finance Minister said the Railway Location Workshop at Essikado, is being modernised and equipped. It is expected to be completed in 2019 to become a one-stop workshop to serve the railway, mining, petroleum and agricultural industries, Kend Ofori-Atta said. Rehabilitation work began this year on the 70.8km narrow gauge sections of the Eastern Railway Line from Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema. The Achimota to Tema section, according to him, is 90 percent complete and Achimota to Accra Central and Achimota to Nsawam is scheduled to be completed by end of the year, with rehabilitation work to Koforidua to be continued in 2019. Also work on the existing 56 km narrow gauge line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta corridor to restore passenger rail and freight services will be completed in 2019, he assured.

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By Afua Tieku | | Ghana]]>