General News of Wed, 11 Feb 20041
GRC to complete repairing Western railway line in March
Opon-Valley (W/R) Feb.11, GNA - The repairing of 50 kilometres rail track of the Western railway line, which forms part of the second phase of the railway rehabilitation programme would be completed by the middle of March this year.
The Ghana Railway Company (GRC) and stakeholders in the railway transportation system have already spent 1.5 billion cedis on the entire, which was began in 2002 by two private contractors. Mr Benjamin Amofa, chief civil engineer of the Company, said work that to be undertaken were drainage, replacement of rotten wooden sleepers with steel sleepers, alignment of curves and clearing of weeds on tracks.
He was briefing newsmen on the state of the railway lines at the end of the two-day inspection of the lines and other facilities of the GRC by members of the new board of directors, at Opon-Valley. Mr Amofa said with assistance from stakeholders including the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and some mining companies, GRC had procured new rails and steel sleepers worth 1.2 million U.S dollars.
He said when completed, frequent derailments that affect rail transport including haulage of cocoa, bauxite and manganese to the Takoradi port could be minimised.
Mr Amofa said the 160-stretch Huni Valley-Dunkwa rail track was the worse portion of the Western line that previously recorded an average of about four derailments every month.
He said with the on-going programme, incidents have almost stopped and the smooth haulage of cocoa from the hinterlands, bauxite from Nsuta and Manganese from Awaso had resumed.
Members of the Board were at Butuah, Angu, Esuaso, Nsuta, Tarkwa, Huni Valley, Insu and Opon Valley to inspect bridges, culverts, and water logged areas that the lines passed through.
They also met with the management of the Ghana Manganese Company at Nsuta to discuss measures to modernise railway transport and addressed workers working at the various portions of the railway line. The members inspected the rehabilitated 1,000 capacity cocoa shed of the Ghana Cocoa Board at Insu.