Ghanaian president Mr John Mahama said last week the reconstruction of the Sekondi - Kojokrom - Takoradi line should be completed ahead of the launch of the service which is aimed at easing increasing road congestion and reducing journey times between the twin cities.

Financial constraints have delayed the completion of the $US 100m project which is being undertaken by Amanda Holdings. The work entails reconstruction of the 30km single-track line using concrete sleepers, converting it from 1067mm to standard gauge, installation of modern signalling and telecommunications, modernisation of nine stations, and the supply of two DMUs. When the work is completed trains will be able to operate at 120km/h.

"The government is committed to the redevelopment of the railway industry in line with the recently completed Ghana Railway Master Plan entailing the reconstruction and modernisation of the existing rail network to be followed by the extension of rail lines to other regions," Mahama says.

He added that other projects set for development under public private partnership schemes by the Ghana Railway Development Authority include the reconstruction of the Accra - Nsawam and Kumasi - Ejisu suburban lines.