Work on the Accra-Nsawam railway line will be completed before the end of this year, according to the Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey.
The 40-kilometre rail line project estimated at GH¢15 million is being undertaken to improve transportation speed and safety.
Mr Ghartey gave an assurance in Parliament in an answer to a question posed by the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nsawam-Adoagyir Constituency, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, on the extent of progress regarding revamping works on the Accra-Nsawam railway line.
Mr Ghartey said 320 people had been employed to work on the line, with the workforce consisting of 305 permanent workers and 15 supervisors.
He said the team was led by the deputy managing director in-charge of Engineering at the Ghana Railways Company Limited.
FLASHBACK: Workers constructing the Avenor portion of the railway line
"The team has been divided into five gangs who are working on different sections of the Accra-Nsawam Line. The Ghana Rail Company Limited has been engaged as contractors in the rehabilitation process," he said.
The line has served as a means of transportation for residents of Nsawam travelling to the Central Business District (CBD) of Accra. Activities on the line ceased in October 2017 when a Tema-Accra-bound train derailed at Tesano.
The accident left dozens of passengers injured, resulting in the suspension of rail transport to the capital city.
Mr Ghartey said the project to rehabilitate the line was faced with challenges, including acquisition of treated wooden sleepers.
He said the acceptable quality of treated sleepers could not be obtained in Ghana and that an offer from the United States of America (USA) also proved unsuitable.
"Suitable preheated wooden sleepers have been identified in China and an order has been placed. The sleepers will be delivered by August 2018," he said.
He said another challenge was in relation to the deteriorated state of the rail line formation at certain sections at the Accra Central Station, Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the Graphic Road.
"The line formation has gone into decline because of human activity. Under the circumstances, soil stabilisation and restoration of the formation would have to be done by removing the contaminated subgrade soil and replacing them with boulders,” he said.
He said up to two metres of soil were being replaced, as well as old bridges and culverts, while extensive drainage works would also be done.
“In spite of these challenges, significant progress has been made,” he said, adding that "the existing stations will also be rehabilitated".