Ministry of Railway devt begins repairing grounded trains

Mr. Gartey(right) with Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah(third from left) and other officials at the train station in Tema.

Mr. Gartey(right) with Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah(third from left) and other officials at the train station in Tema.

The Ministry of Railway Development has begun repairing all grounded trains in the country.

The move is to enable the country have a vibrant rail system towards national development.

The sector Minister, Mr Joe Ghartey, disclosed these on Friday when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport inspected repair works on the railway and coaches at Tema in the Greater Accra Region.

The inspection was to give the committee members a first-hand information on works so far done so that they could brief                                                             other members on efforts being made to revamp the railway sector

According to Mr Ghartey, the ministry has sought the assistance of the Ghana Association of Garages, who asked experts from the Suame Magazine in Kumasi to repair the trains.

He said the trains in Takoradi have been repaired and fitted with air conditioners by the experts, and expressed optimism that the Accra-Tema, Accra-Nsawam and the Accra-Achimota rail lines would be ready on time to bring the coaches back to improve the country transportation system.

Mr Ghartey said the country has stopped buying new coaches, and instead repair the old ones.

“We have to build-local indigenous coaches that could stand the test of time, which is a big challenge to the country’s master artisans, in order to introduce more new services for goods haulage and passengers”, he stressed.

The Majority leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who led the parliamentary team, commended the ministry for using the expertise of local artisans to put the trains back on track.

According to him, the use of the experts would create jobs for the people.

The Majority leader bemoaned the neglect of the rail sector over the years, which he said should have been the cheapest transportation system for the country.

“The One-District One-Factory initiative by government could only succeed if the rail system is revived to convey goods to and from the hinterland”, he added.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the use of the local expertise would boost government’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda

The Deputy Minister of Railway Development, Mr Andy Appiah Kubi, commended the former Minister of Ports and Harbour, Professor Ameyaw Ekumfi, for initiating improving the railway sector, but said more work needed to be done to put the sector in line with international standards.

Mr Kubi said the Takoradi trains have been repaired and those plying Accra would also be repaired.

“We would tap on the expertise of local artisans to start producing coaches in the country”, he added.

 By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu

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