The engine of the free passenger train expected to leave Tarkwa at 3pm today, Friday, January 31, 2020, back to Takoradi has failed to start.
The situation has left passengers stranded as engineers attempt to start the engine.
The engine being used by the Ghana Railway Company Limited for the test run from Takoradi to Tarkwa is over 25 years.
Some new engines and coaches were procured by the administration of former president John Mahama in 2016.
It is reported that the new coaches and engines have been left at the Takoradi station due to the narrow gauge line between the Tarkwa and Takoradi rail line.
Speaking to Citi News, some of the frustrated passengers said it was a sign that the train is not reliable.
“I was here around 1:30 thinking that because it is free, there will be a rush but right now it appears there is a challenge so we are just waiting to see what will happen. Free things are very costly and I think this will diminish their credibility because they just started [operations] and these things are happening.”
Period for free train rides from Takoradi to Tarkwa extended by five days
The Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) extended by five days the period for its free train rides from Takoradi to Tarkwa.
GRCL as apart of preparations to start commercial activities in February 2020, started offering free train rides to the general public on January 28.
The free train rides, which were supposed to last for just three days, have been extended by five days, starting from February 3 to February 7, 2020.
A press release signed by the Deputy Managing Director of the company, Dr Ing. Micheal Adei Anyetei stated that the decision by management to extend the free train rides was as a result of the enthusiasm shown by the public during the three day free rides.
The press release also indicated that a particular coach had been withdrawn because the company’s engineers had noticed that it was faulty.
Tarkwa-Takoradi train derails during test run
The Ghana Railway Company Limited’s train moving from Tarkwa to Takoradi on Thursday suffered a derailment while on a test run.
The incident occurred at about 3pm at Benso forcing the company to leave behind two of the coaches.
The train was returning to Takoradi on the second day of its planned 3-day test run before commencing commercial operations.
No injuries were recorded as the coach that derailed was meant for goods, although it was attached to the passenger coaches.
The Acting Chief Civil Engineer of the Ghana Railway Company Limited, Michael Kobina Addison said some engineers were left at the scene to fix the rail to ensure a smooth operation on January 31.