Mrs Dzifa Attivor, the Minister of Transport, has disclosed that re-development works on the Western Railway Line, which would stretch from Takoradi to Kumasi, including a branch line from Dunkwa to Awaso is estimated to cost $1 billion when completed.
She said the project would ensure the modernization of the Western Railway Line, which would include modern rail stations, terminals and ancillary facilities and also safe, smooth and timely services.
Mrs Attivor said this on Monday during a forum to discuss the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) report on the Western Railway Line.
The FEED report details the look of the Western Railway Lines on completion, the various aspects of the project, and the estimated cost
The design also involved the renovation and remodeling of 38 stations, including two terminals with all facilities, retrofitting and reconstruction of more than 200 bridges and culverts, and the provision of a more realistic estimation of the cost of construction.
The rest are the provision of the state of the art signaling and telecommunication system, reconstruction and remodeling of workshops and running sheds among others.
Mrs Attivor said the preliminary designs of the projects would provide a platform for a transparent and a more realistic engagement with private sector investors on a project, which would be handled under the auspices of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA).
The FEED project or the design for the Western Line by the GRDA was done by Messrs Team Engineering SpA of Italy, a consultancy with full funding by the Government.
She urged GRDA to sensitise the public on the design principles and parameters for the new railway system, which would be implemented in accordance with the Railway Master Plan for Ghana.
Mrs Attivor cited encroachment on railway lands, and the destruction of railway lands by illegal miners as some of the major challenges facing the rail way system.
“Also illegal leasing of lands by the Ghana Railway Company, thereby creating litigation on some of these lands needed for development, is also a matter of concern”, she said.
She said the Ministry would do all it could to protect these lands for the development of the railways sector.
She said concerns, which would be raised at the end of the forum would be used to assist the consultants in proceeding with the finalization of the preliminary design to guide the country’s efforts to develop the railway network, whiles optimizing construction cost.
She said the final report on the design would serve as the guide to those who would be chosen by the GRDA for the construction of the Western Railway Line.
Mr Michele Nemesi, the Country Director, Team Engineering SpA, said an efficient and an effective railway system would serve as one of the best tools in helping to shape the economy of any country which takes it seriously.
He said the FEED would serve as a great tool and help financiers know the exact amount, which would go into the construction.