The government is upgrading the old Essikado Railway Workshop in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis of the Western Region, Railway Development Minister John-Peter Amewu has announced.
“The vision is to upgrade and equip the facility to become a one stop shop to serve railway, mining, petroleum, agricultural and other ancillary industries in Ghana,” Mr. Awewu pointed out.
He said this while celebrating Rail Transport Day at UMaT’s School of Railways and Infrastructure Development (SRID) in Essikado on Saturday.
It was on the theme “Ghana’s Rail Transport: Challenges and Future Prospects”.
Already, the Minister recalled that two out of seven workshops had been renovated by MM. Rolider Ghana Limited in 2018, with government funding, adding that Messrs. CK Engineering and Construction Limited, were also rehabilitating five other workshops.
He said that to ensure that Ghana develops adequate local capacity to manage and maintain the railway system, the former Railway Central Training Institute in Essikadohad since 2021, educated over 600 young Ghanaians in engineering degree, diploma and certificate programs.
Again, Mr. Amewu indicated that the school had been transformed into a degree-granting institution, adding that the ministry, together with the Ghana Railway Company Limited and UMaT, had developed academic programs to ensure that students receive hands-on, hands-on training in engineering, to build their capacity.
As part of the railway master plan to upgrade and expand the railway network in the country, he said, the existing narrow gauge western railway line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta sections, since 2017 , has been rehabilitated to ensure the efficient transport of manganese from Nsuta. mines at the port of Takoradi.
“The development of a new standard gauge railway network started in 2018 for the construction of the 22 km section from Kojokrom to Manso of the Western line in January 2018.
“The project is currently approximately 90% complete and expected to be fully completed and handed over by contractor Messrs. Amandi Holding Ltd in the first quarter of 2023.”
Even before the completion of the new standard gauge line to Manso, the Minister reported that the government had secured external funding to continue the development of the western line from Manso to Huni Valley.
The project includes the extension of standard gauge in the bulk terminal at Takoradi port, Amewu said.
The ministry, he said, was working closely with the contractor to ensure the completion of the tracks up to Nsuta within 12 months to allow for the migration of manganese transport from narrow gauge to standard gauge. to improve the efficiency of railway operations.