Western Railway line critical for maximising revenue
Accra, Jan. 23, GNA - The Acting Area Manager of Ghana Railway Company in Accra, Mr. Abraham Woode, Monday said the Western Railway line must operate efficiently to fetch more money for running the company and the nation.
Mr Woode, who was speaking in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA) said: 'Most of our goods, come from the Western line and if the Government should bring it back, it will solve most of our financial problems.'
He explained that the Western Line was mostly boarded by traders who travelled from Accra to Takoradi to convey farm produce; and then deliver processed foods from Accra and Nsawam to Takoradi.
'It works from Monday to Saturday and fetches us more money, unlike the Tema train, which is boarded by workers and goes just one trip a day from Monday to Friday.'
The Accra-Nsawam train works from Monday to Saturday, making at least four trips. It takes off from Nsawam at 05:30 hours and gets to Accra 07:30 hours.
It then leaves Accra at 10:00 hours, and gets to Nsawam at 14:00 hours and returns to Accra at 16:00 hours.
Its last trip is 17:30 hours from Accra to Nsawam at 19:30 hours.
Mr Woode said the Nsawam coach, however, was in a bad state, explaining, 'The engines and rail lines are all old and weak because it has been operating for years and needs to be replaced.'
He complained about the passengers who refused to pay fares and rather hanged on the coaches, saying that had resulted in the joints becoming loose and weak causing the train to disentangle.
Some passengers told the GNA that the train was helpful because it was cheap compared to the public buses, besides there was no traffic on the line.
Mrs Jennifer Badu, a wig seller, however, said most of the coaches had no lights so it becomes dark inside, making it difficult to locate her stop.
'When the coach becomes dark, I get scared and feel that someone can harm us and also feel that there may be a snake hidden in the train to harm us,' Mrs. Badu added.
Mr John Asiedu, who trades in jeans trousers, said: 'The coaches become very hot when congested and when this happens I begin to sweat and do not feel comfortable. This is as a result of the fan not functioning'.
Mr Joseph Yankson, the Assistant Acting Area Trafficking Manager of the Ghana Railway Company, said the Minister for Railway Development must get to the ground of the job to know the problems faced by the sector to enable the Government to engage qualified people to come and manage the work.
Mr Yankson complained that, the external grounds of the Train Station in Accra was very dirty and had a foul smell because people defecated and threw rubbish all over the place.
'The Government should employ more workers to ensure neatness all over the place for the place to serve as a resting place or a tourists' attraction,' he added.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated Mr Joe Ghartey, the Member of Parliament for Essikadu Ketan, as the Minister for Railway Development.
When he is approved by parliament he would be the first Minister to oversee solely the Railway sector in the Fourth Republic.
By Linda Baah, GNA