Dormant is the word that immediately comes to mind when I think about the railway sector in Ghana currently. A century ago (1900-1980), you could say that Ghana had a railway sector that oozed class. The Initial railway lines in Tarkwa, Sekondi, Kumasi and Obuasi, which were very effective in splicing up these towns, subsequently paved the way for the lines in Nkawkaw, Tema and Accra to be constructed. These peak periods in our railway history coincided with some of our more economically fruitful years because our railway then was capable of transporting some of the country’s major exports to neighbouring lands.
It has been decades since the country could boast of a railway sector functioning at its optimum. The trains and passenger cars in the country’s possession have seen better days. Elongated periods of dormancy have seen encroachers move in on existing railway lines and rendered them inappropriate for use. Sadly, all these are a far cry from what has been experienced in the all too distant past.
There is a glimmer of hope, however. The recent narratives of investors coming on board to help revamp the railway sector, new passenger cars and bullet trains being procured and the face-lift being given to the Railway Location workshop and railway lines across the country are exciting, especially if you are a regular commuter in Accra and Kumasi. Road traffic will most likely be at a minimum due to the faster and cheaper nature of the train system.
Concurrently, a working railway system should be a good enough cushion for our burgeoning tourism industry. An easier and faster transportation method from the main hub, Accra, to connecting cities should make the idea of touring the country a lot more inviting to both locals and tourists.
So let the trains roll on and roll this way. We surely cannot wait.