In a momentous development for Ghana’s transportation sector, the Ghana government has officially received the first batch of 12 state-of-the-art trains assembled in Poland. The handover ceremony took place in Poland, marking a significant milestone for the country.
These modern trains, a product of a comprehensive framework contract between Ghana Railways and the Polish manufacturer PESA, are destined for use on the new Tema-Mpakadan standard-gauge railway line. This 97 km railroad, under construction from Tema to Mpakadan, is designed to facilitate the movement of goods and people along the Eastern corridor of Ghana.
The Tema-Mpakadan railway line, nearing 98 percent completion, is part of a larger multi-transport system connecting the Tema port to the southern and northern parts of Ghana. Scheduled for completion in 2024, it is integral to the planned 1000 km Ghana-Burkina Faso interconnectivity project, linking Ouagadougou to the Port in Tema.
Anticipated to arrive in Ghana by mid-March 2024, the first train is uniquely designed to operate seamlessly on both regional and long-distance lines. This procurement marks the first-ever standard-gauge train for operations in Ghana.
At the handing-over ceremony conducted in Poland on February 2, 2024, by the Polish manufacturer PESA, Yaw Owusu, CEO of the Ghana Railways Development Authority, highlighted the transformative impact of a robust railway system on a nation’s development. He expressed Ghana’s commitment to building a 4000km railway network across the country to support its industrialization agenda.
Yaw Owusu emphasized the significance of the moment, especially for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, whose vision is to revamp Ghana’s railway system. This acquisition marks the introduction of standard-gauge rolling stock in Ghana, a departure from the original narrow-gauge trains.
The CEO stressed the importance of consistent maintenance to ensure the longevity of these trains, built to last for 30 years and beyond. Ghana is looking forward to a long-term relationship with PESA, having signed a 5-year agreement with plans to extend the maintenance period to 10 years.
Encouraging the Ghanaian public to patronize train services, Yaw Owusu affirmed the positive impact these modern trains would have on the rail sector’s efficiency and capacity.
This strategic move aligns with the Ghana government’s commitment to enhancing the efficiency and capacity of the rail network, with these modern trains expected to elevate the overall passenger experience and contribute to the economic development served by the railway network.