THE RECENT reactivation of the commuter train service between Accra and Tema is welcome and relieving news.
For residents of cities worldwide, Ghana, not an exception, an efficient railway system, offers multifaceted opportunities to the people.
Besides the relative lower freight costs, it makes movement much easier than that what the road network offers.
The lull in the Accra to Tema service after it was reactivated as part of a general railway resuscitation now ongoing was a blow to residents, some of whom were having a feel of railway service for the first time.
For those in their late 60s, the advantages which come with an efficient railway system is still fresh in their memories. Even in their days of the old railway system, not the standard gauge model, the dividends were visible.
We have learnt that the current shuttle is a trial arrangement with the speed relatively shortened for engineering observations to be made and where necessary adjustments made.
We are longing to see a full-fledged functional commuter railway system between Accra and Tema and Accra to Nsawam.
So much money has been expended on the railway rehabilitation and modernisation system in the country. But being a capital intensive project, we can only call on government to expedite work on the total rehabilitation of the previously moribund railway system in the country.
While we acknowledge the efforts so far made in the rehabilitation project as evidenced by a ministry and authority created to execute the agenda, we will nonetheless ask for more action towards the realisation of the goal.
Commuters onboard the train, as t it headed to Tema, were excited about the relative low fares and prayed that the railway commuter system has come to stay as part of our transport architecture in the country.
Had political administrations done what the current government has initiated and continuing with, regarding railway rehabilitation, things would have been markedly different.
Unfortunately, the railway system was ignored for decades until the network of lines were taken over by traders and wild vegetation.
Isn't it amazing that the memory of a railway system is now a faded picture with many only seeing a working train in films and news bulletins? Now the honking horns of the train as it meanders its way to Tema and back is becoming a feature of Accra.
Now that the Accra to Tema line has received a lease of new life, we pray that the Accra to Nsawam route also receives this breath of engineering life.
That route will serve the needs of many persons for whom the cost of commuting in recent times is a hassle.
We recall the earlier test running of this route and the subsequent challenge which informed the suspension of service and hope this is addressed soon.
The many residents of Accra, now living in the various settlements along the route between Accra and Nsawam especially, Amasaman and Pokuase, the resuscitation of the service will minimise their daily hassles.