The first railway in what was then the Gold Coast opened in 1903 between the harbour at Takoradi and Tarkwa, a distance of some 70km. Its initial function was the transport of heavy mining equipment for use in the industry that was then opening up around Tarkwa. In common with other British colonies of the time, the gauge chosen was 3ft 6in (1067mm).
Subsequent expansion at the same gauge has led to a reasonably effective network of lines but one that is confined to a relatively small portion of the country, namely the Western, Central, Eastern, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions, giving a present day network of about 953km.
In 2014, a 2.5km metre gauge railway was opened from a cement works at Aflao to the port of Lomé in Togo. The line is operated by Togo Rail and there is no link with the Ghanaian network.
In 2015, a 30km line from Sekondi to Takoradi was reopened, having been rebuilt to standard (1435mm) gauge. It now carries suburban passenger services. Similar treatment is proposed for the the Accra to Nsawam and Kumasi to Ejisu lines.
In 2018, a feasibility study commenced for a new line from the present northern terminus of Kumasi to Paga on the border of Burkina Faso, where it would meet a new line from Ouagadougou. About 500km of the new line would be in Ghana. Contracts for the construction of the first 100km from Kumasi to Techiman were let in 2019.
In 2019, construction began on a new 85km standard gauge line from Tema via Accra to Mpakadan. In early 2021 it was announced as being 80% complete.
In 2019, funding was approved for a new 340km standard gauge electrified railway from Tema to Kumasi, replacing the existing narrow gauge line. A branch from Bosuso to Kyebi will be included.
In 2019, a feasibility study was initiated into a new tram system for Kumasi.
In 2021, funding was approved for a 100km standard gauge railway from Takoradi to Huni Valley, replacing part of the existing, but out of service, narrow gauge line from Takoradi to Kumasi.
Photo image by NanaYawBotar from Wikimedia Commons