Commuters shuttling the mining city route between Takoradi and Tarkwa were on Thursday thrown into a state of panic when one of the newly commissioned trains derailed.
According to the Ghana Railway Company Limited, the derailing was caused by “one particular coach” which had developed a technical problem.
The incident occurred at about 3 pm at Benso in the Western Region 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 that had offered passengers free rides.
No injuries were recorded as the GRC claims the problem had been resolved and that services have resumed.
Whatsup News gathered that the previous John Mahama administration bought a number of new train coaches and engines, however, they may have been abandoned as the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has deployed train engines and coaches estimated to be over 25 years old for the current test run.
It is unclear if the new engines would be deployed when full service starts.
However, passengers are complaining about the slow pace of the train. Takoradi to Tarkwa is estimated at a 45 minutes journey, however, the new rail system drags the journey in excess of three hours, commuters have said.
Accra based Citi News claims it interviewed some GRC workers spoke on condition of anonymity that the railway lines needed an overhaul because they are not up to par.
The workers reportedly claim, there was a rush to open that train route, hence the teething problems being experienced.
A statement from the GRC said its engineers “have withdrawn that particular coach for thorough examination and servicing whilst the free passenger service continues. It is to be noted that the track infrastructure has not been compromised and it is in a very good state.”
GRC in its statement claims the excited patronage of its services on the route has forced it to extend the test run and free services.
“As a result of the public enthusiasm shown during the maiden free passenger service on Tuesday 28th and Thursday 30th January 2020, Management of Ghana Railway Company Limited has decided to extend the free passenger service for extra one (1) week, starting from 3rd to 7th February 2020,” GRC’s statement read