If you are a Ghanaian millennial or an adventure junkie at heart with no train ride experience then you need to hop aboard the Ghana Railway Authority’s free train which ends in two weeks.
The temporary free rides from Accra to Tema affords you the chance to explore the city of Accra from an alternative mode of transport.
After a few glitches concerning re-opening date and squatters, the first test resumed on Tuesday, 29th January, 2019. The Tema to Accra route had been shut down for a few weeks in order to complete railway works and reinnovation
The 6-carriage train with the capacity to commute 600 passengers per trip will ease traffic in the capital city during morning and evening rush hours; one of the biggest challenges facing productivity in Ghana.
According to Ghana’s President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, the viable way of solving the myriad of issues facing Ghana’s transportation was the introduction of railway system.
He said “After independence our infrastructure is almost incomplete, it has become a priority of our government to rehabilitate, revive and expand and get us a railway infrastructure that is fit for purpose.”
He continued “We now know that this is the most efficient way. What is exciting about this project is that it is a very good example of intra-Africa co-operation. It is Ghana-South Africa co-operation, meeting and coming together to deal with the problem of urbanization, which is facing all our countries”
Unlike Europe, Asia, & America, where train rides are a common form of transportation and relatively cheaper, Africa continuous to lag silently behind in the railway sector. This has affected tourism, trade, modernization, infrastructure and many more.
It is the hope that the new railway would improve transportation in the capital city and cut short daily commuting hours to and from work.
Locations that would see the train make stops and pick up include Community 1, Tema, Asoprochona, Batchona, Achimota, Odaw and finally Accra Central. Join a train today and discover the city of 1.9 million with a different perspective. It’s an experience you’re bound not to forget easily
History of Railway in Ghana
The first railway line was started by the British government in 1896 with aim of transporting heavy machinery to the mines in Tarkwa, Western Ghana. 1897 saw the selection of Sekondi as a preferable location for the construction of the railways, however, construction was suspended after stiff agitation from interested parties. The British went ahead with the construction and works officially begun in 1898 after a press conference was held at the British colonial office by the then British Secretary of State in July of the same year.
Several factors added to the decline of railway in Ghana such as The fifth and last Anglo-Ashanti war, heavy rainfall and scarcity of labour hampered After the war ended in 1900, work restarted and the railway reached Tarkwa in May 1901. The Tarkwa line was then extended to Kumasi with construction work beginning in June 1901 and reaching Obuasi in December 1902 and finally Kumasi in September 1903. The first train left Sekondi for Kumasi on October 1, 1903.
The railway began to suffer neglect after Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 and successive regimes failed to make it a priority. The railway equipment, machinery, stocks and western financial interests began to decline. More workers gave up working for an institution on the verge of collapsing – a system connected to every part of life and once the backbone of the country. The railway was further compromised in the early 1970s when heavy road trucks poured into the country and took over the transportation of cocoa and timber to the ports. By 1983, the once proud Ghana Railway averaged a total of 350,000 tonnes of freight and less than two million passengers a year.
History of Railway Source: http://accradotaltradio.com