The International Steam Pages

More on the Railways of Ghana 2007

Thomas Kautzor visited in November/December 2007 and this updates his report from April/May 2007.

Ghana Railways Co. Ltd. (GRC):

Accra Commuter Trains:
In addition to the existing twice-daily commuter train service between Accra and Nsawam (25 miles), a second service has now started.

On December 20, 2007 the President of Ghana inaugurated the new commuter service between Accra and Asoprochona, a suburb of Accra which is located on the line to Tema, site of the capital’s deep-sea port, but apparently service only started on January 14, 2007, with two pairs of trains operating to the following schedule:

Asoprochona 06:15 – Accra
Accra 07:15 – Asoprochona
Asoprochona 12:12 – Accra
Accra 17:54 – Asoprochona

The journey takes about 45 minutes.

The line branches off the main Accra – Kumasi line at Achimota Junction (mile 4.1/2), where the locomotive needs to run around its train. From there it is 12 miles to Asoprochona, serving the station of Batchona at mile 7.1/2 on the way. At Asoprochona a short platform, ticket office and shelter have been built, as well as a car park that is aimed at inhabitants of the nearby Sakumono Estates suburb.

The new service was initially to have started in September of 2007, but after the Minister of Transport rode a test train, he ordered that the section between Accra and Achimota Junction be also upgraded to the same standards as the branch line. The whole rebuilding program cost U$ 9.2 million, financed from the OPEC fund, including U$ 2 million for the refurbishment of a set of ten coaches at GRC’s Sekondi workshops. Phase Two of the project, the final stretch of 2.3/4 miles to Tema is to be completed until the end of 2008. The rails from this section have been lifted and used to complete the initial section between Achimota Jn. and Asoprochona. At Tema the rails are still in place in the large disused shunting yard and at the station. The small loco shed here has lost its roof, and squatters occupy its offices. Beyond Tema, the closed branch to a quarry at Shai Hills is still in place.

During my visits in November and December, the same three locomotives than in April were present (1675-7). Also present for work trains was Robel four-wheel railcar No. GT2 (type 5412-112). An order has been placed for two DMU sets to replace the loco-hauled trains.

Kade Branch:
This long-closed (but not lifted) 25 mile-long branch off the Central line between Accra and Takoradi was visited on Dec. 9th. Achiasi Junction, about 2 miles from the actual settlement, was a major station and a small town in itself, as can be witnessed from the remaining buildings. Present are the large station building, an island platform with a shelter, the Railway Social Club, the school, a workshop, a fire station and employee housing, some of which has been taken over by squatters. The only piece of rolling stock present was a modern covered wagon (No. 5090). The loco shed, at the end of a triangle northwest of the station, had however been dismantled with the bricks piled in order to be taken away. All tracks around the shed had also been lifted and piled up in order to be taken away by scrap dealers, as well as the water tank and water crane.

At Kade, the station yard has been taken over by farmers, but the large warehouses from where cocoa used to be shipped to the ports on the railway are still being used to store cocoa that is then taken away by road.

Efua Sutherland Children’s park:

This location was visited on Dec. 7th. The train was said to be operational, but could not run due to a broken tie on the track.

Rob Dickinson