Scientist requests $6bn out of $21.5bn railway money to build bullet trains

Scientist requests $6bn out of $21.5bn railway money to build bullet trains
Source: Ghana | | Austin Brakopowers | M: | Instagram: @realbrakopowers
Date: 15-12-2017 Time: 01:12:36:pm
Dr. Thomas Mensah

Ghanaian chemical engineer, Dr Thomas Mensah says he could revamp the country’s railway system at the cost of $6billion.

He said he will achieve this by employing high-speed trains known as bullet trains that will link communities in the northern and southern parts of Ghana.

The US National Academy of Inventors fellow told Thursday, he will use a fibre-optic technology to shrink the travel time to 200 miles per hour (mph). The current estimated travel time from Accra to Bolgatanga, the capital of Upper East Region is 11 hours.

His comment came months after the Ghana Railway Development Authority requested $21.5billion to procure new coaches and renovate lines.

A master plan drafted in 2013 to bolster the sector has proposed the construction of 4,007.6 kilometres railway line.

But out of the current 947km track length of railway line in the country, only 130km is operational, providing freight and passenger services.

The Accra to Tema, Accra to Kotoku and Awaso to Dunkwa and Takoradi are the only lines known to be working.

But Dr Mensah believes with $6billion, the railway sector will witness the improvement it needs, which will spur on development.

“We should do the bullet train…steel on steel,” he said, adding the time has come for the government to invest in “proven systems.”

The Ghanaian rehashed a quote from celebrated American broadcaster, Opera Winfrey when he said: “excellence is the antidote of discrimination.”

“I don’t want the buzz words,” he cautioned against the more-talk-less-work mantra of some people.

His meteoric rise as a respected figure in the area of nanotechnology across the world has been the making of hard work and dedication, he said.

“When I get up to speak at MIT [and] all the big universities, my colour goes away,” he said, adding “I am respected just like Bill Gates.”

When he told then US President Barack Obama about bullet trains, China had just one high-speed rail, but now they have 40.

“That means they built four a year [and] Ghana can build a high-speed rail and have it ready in 2020,” he said.

Dr Mensah has designed a smartwatch that changes the channel just by waving it and his works are credited for the penetration of social media.

“When I get up and I put my books down…Nanotechnology…none of the professors have written that book,” he said.

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