The Railway Industry in Ghana has a long History
The small but economically vital rail network is confined to the lower half of the country with a route of 94 kilometer and track length of 1300 kilometers.it comprises the western line 373.8 kilometers from Takoradi to Kumasi including the branch lines from takoradi to prestea, from Dunkwa to Awaso and Sekondi to Kojokrom the central line 239km from Huni vallay to Kotoku with a branch line from Achiasi junction to Kade and the Eastern line 330km from Accra to Kumasi with a branch line from Achimota to Tema Harbour.
Construction of the network started in Sekondi in 1898. The initial stretch of 66 kilometers from Sekondi to Tarkwa was completed in 1901 and service to Tarkwa commenced. The Railways was then a wing of the Gold Coast Civil Service.
It became Railway and Ports Authority in 1972 and on the 1st of July 1977 under (SMCD95), the Ghana railway corporation was established as a body corporate under the a separate administration distinct from the port. On the 7th of march 2001 under the company’s Act,1963 (Act 179) the Ghana railway company limited was created with registration number 94, 198.
In a bid to resuscitate the railway industry and promote involvement of the private investors or sovereign wealth fund in the financing, developing and operating the railway network in Ghana, the Ghana railway development Authority was created in January 2009. In so doing the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Railway development Authority will provide the requisite infrastructure while the private sector will provide the operational services.
Existing Railway Network
The existing network consists of three lines: the western line, the Eastern line and the Central line (from Huni valley to kotoku). Built during the colonial period, what is still operational is barely 13% of the approximately 947 kilometers of rail that existed at in dependence in 1957. These lines are narrow (cape) gauge, single track lines. What is left of it, is used for both freight and passengers traffic. Over the years the tracks and rolling stock have all deteriorated, due to lack of maintenance.
The Ministry of Railway Development
The ministry of transport, under which the railway sector existed, was split up in January 2017 by the H.E President Akuffo Addo. The ministry of Railway Development was created to focus solely on the new government’s total revamp of the railway sector.
The two bodies under the ministry of Railway Development are the Ghana Railway development Authority (GRDA), owner of the infrastructure, and the Ghana Railway Company Ltd (GRCL), as the operator of rail services.
Under this new structure, the first minister to occupy the office is Hon. Joe Ghartey.