Agreement signed for new standard gauge western line

BY: Daily Graphic
Mr Richard Diedong Dombo and Mr Xu Zhongyi exchanging the agreements
Mr Richard Diedong Dombo and Mr Xu Zhongyi exchanging the agreements

The Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) and the China Railway Wuju Group Corporation (CRWJ), also known as the China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Company Limited, have signed an agreement for the continuation of the construction of a new standard gauge Western railway line.

The US$500 million project will have both passenger and freight services.

Under the agreement, the Manso through Tarkwa to Dunkwa section of the line which is approximately 100km will be developed.

Already, the Kojokrom to Manso section being 22km has been awarded to Messrs Amandi in 2017 and is currently under construction.

The agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRDA, Mr Richard Diedong Dombo, with the Board Chairman of CRWJ, Mr Xu Zhongyi, signing on behalf of CRWJ.

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Improvement of railway network

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Beijing, China, the Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, bemoaned the current state of Ghana’s railway network.

According to him, the British colonisers left Ghana in 1957 with a railway network of about 947km, but said currently, only 100km of the railway network was operational.

He, however, said the Akufo-Addo-led administration was determined to revamp the railway sector in the country to further improve and enhance the transportation system to accelerate the country’s development.

“Work has commenced on various sections of the rail network across the country and we intend to make rail transport an integral piece to Ghana’s development,” he said.

Work hard for more opportunities

Mr Ghartey, who led the Ghanaian delegation to the signing ceremony, urged CRWJ to give of their best in order to complete the first phase of the project within the stipulated one-year time frame in order to attract more opportunities in building Ghana’s railway network.

The President of CRWJ, Mr Zhang Zongyan, thanked the Ghanaian delegation for the visit and for deciding to work with his outfit.

He described the contract to develop the Manso to Dunkwa section of the Western railway line as one of the company’s biggest projects.

He gave an assurance to the delegation of the company’s commitment to comply with the terms of the agreement and complete the project on time.

He further reiterated the commitment of CRWJ to leverage on its comprehensive strength and technical advantages to strengthen communication and bilateral ties with the government of Ghana to realise its vision of a modern railway network.

Earlier, the Ghanaian delegation visited CRWJ’s project site in Beijing.

The company is constructing a 174km high-speed rail project, with a design speed of 350 kilometres per hour.

It will connect Beijing and Zhangjiakou.

Part of the project is a 12km underground tunnel which lies 102 metres below the historical Great Wall of China.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.