The Ghana Railways Company Limited has commenced a three day free passenger service on the Takoradi to Tarkwa rail line.
The trail is to prepare the line for commercial service on February 5.
Tuesday’s free passenger service follows a successful completion of rehabilitation works on the Takoradi to Tarkwa rail line as part of the Nana Akufo-Addo administration’s agenda to rehabilitate the Western Rail line.
At about 6:30am Tuesday, a five set of coaches and a locomotive with a capacity of 80 – passengers – set off from the Takoradi Train Station to Tarkwa.
It will be the first time in 13 years since a passenger train had gone to Tarkwa from Takoradi.
Scores of residents of Sekondi Takoradi who joined the train could not hide their excitement.
“My happiness is indescribable. When I was a kid I was traveling to Kumasi with my parents on the train and it was so nice. This trip brings back memories, Anita Quarm told 3news.com.
For Gladys Adu, the revival of the passenger service comes as a big relief.
“I travel to Tarkwa every three days. Sometimes it is very scary traveling on the Tarkwa road because of the potholes. Now that I have an alternative I am so happy”.
A 65-year-old Nancy Boadu has her farm at Bonsawire, one of the towns along the rail.
Until the passenger service stopped in 2007, she was carting her goods by rail.
She indicated that ever since the rail stopped, she have had to pay huge transport fares for her farm produce.
“Now that the train is back, I can make savings on my fare,” he said.
From Takoradi to Kojokrom the rail lines were completely made anew.
However, the lines from Kojokrom to Tarkwa are still the old lines that were constructed during the colonial days.
The journey on that line was a bit turbulent.
Deputy Managing Director Dr. Ing. Michael Anyetei said it is not surprising that the experience on the Kojokrom to Takoradi line is different.
“These tracks were constructed during the colonial days. What we did here is entirely different from the Takoradi to Kojokrom lines. For Kojokrom to Tarkwa it is the old tracks that we rehabilitated,” he explained.
“What is happening is that we have a team of engineers on board who are taking notice of all the areas that you experienced the small challenge. And those areas will be fortified”.
The 66.8 kilometers journey took less than 3 hours.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana