Tracks on the new railway line to be laid by middle of this year – Amandi Holdings

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Amandi Holdings, the company working on the construction of the standard gauge rail line from Kojokrom to Manso on the western line, has hinted that laying of tracks on the new line will commence by the middle of this year. This is because the construction of the viaduct (bridge) over the Kojokrom-Eshiem road is ninety percent near completion.

According to the company, the major earthworks required on one of the sections have almost been completed, and that by the time the viaduct will be completed, all that will be left to make the line fully functional will be the laying of tracks on it.

This was revealed by the General Manager of Amandi Holdings, David Ben Ayun, during a tour of the project site by the Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, today.

Hon. Joe Ghartey, David Ben Ayun (left of Hon. Ghartey), MD of Amandi, at the viaduct site during the tour.

Briefing the media on the progress of work done so far, Mr. Ben Ayun stated that the entire earthworks from the Kojokrom end of the line – about 2.5km – has been completed, awaiting track laying. He added, however, that that will be done only after the viaduct and other remaining works are completed; which they expect to be soon.

“This is the edge that is coming from the Kojokrom station – about five kilometers – already the civil works on the 2.5 has been completed, it is only left with laying of tracks,” he said.

Mr. Ben Ayun said that the other 2.5km towards the viaduct has delayed due to issues that had to do with land acquisition and compensation, adding that the Railway Development Ministry has been helpful in getting the issues resolved amicably, and that has paved the way for them to complete the work – still on schedule.

“The other 2.5 km delayed, but with the big support of the Ministry, we have been able to complete the land acquisition, and we managed to open the other 2.5km; which you see there was a major earthwork of cutting and filling. And we are in a very advance stage, so before the end of April, we will finish all the sections.

“After that, we will fill the whole area, and then we will have a continuous 5km of a clear path from Kojorkom all the way to the viaduct bridge, and then from there to Eshiem; and from Eshiem to Manso. So the work is now progressing in all sectors. We have a major earth section which is the first 5km, and the viaduct which is expected to be completed before the middle of the year,” he narrated.

The longest viaduct in West Africa

A viaduct is a long bridge-like structure, that carries a road or railway across a valley or other low grounds. The Government of Ghana, through Amandi Holdings, is constructing a 385m viaduct – believed to be the longest in West Africa – over the road linking Eshiem to Kojokrom.

This, according to the Railway Development Ministry, is to prevent the rail line from being too curvaceous because curvaceous lines sare not too good for high-speed trains, and more so when the old line passes through the Eshiem community. This viaduct diverts the line from the Eshiem community to the back of it.

“The viaduct, which is the longest bridge in West Africa, is 90 percent (90%) completed. We are diverting the road so that we can construct the last two columns. The top structure is advancing. It is within the time schedule, and we hope that very soon, we will have the possibility of laying the tracks on it, and then after that, the train will run on it,” he revealed.

According to Amandi Holdings, the viaduct and other attached works are costing the country around nine million dollars ($9 million).

A section of the viaduct

Diversion of the line

The Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, who was the lead for the tour, explained that the line had to be diverted from the Eshiem community because of the high-speed trains that will be plying the new standard gauge lines being constructed. He also said the high-speed lines do not require too many curves, so it was appropriate the new line was diverted so that the curvy nature of the old line through Eshiem could be avoided.

“We had to divert the line because of the speed of the new standard gauge line. Because of the speed, the line cannot curve as much as it used to, on the old line. Now, speed is of the essence; if you have a train that uses twelve hours to travel from Kumasi to Takoradi, people won’t join it. So we are building high-speed lines, and so from time to time, you will see that we will go outside the right of way.

Hon. Joe Ghartey expressed satisfaction with the rate of work being done on the line, and assured of a monthly reporting on the progress of work, to the people of Ghana through the media.

“What I’ve seen here is very impressed. And what is amazing about construction is that I’m sure if we come back in two weeks’ time, we will see something completely different. What we are doing now is that we are starting a process of enhanced project monitoring – which means that every month, I will be calling the media to come and look at where we’ve reached, and to tell us what they think we will see in a month’s time. So we can report, through you, to the people of Ghana for them to know that their taxpayers’ money that they are using for the railway is being done, and done well,” he said.

Story by: Samuel Kojo Brace/Skyy Power FM/Takoradi


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