Consultants have submitted their bids for the preliminary design contract for Oman’s new national railway.

Oman’s Transport & Communications Ministry issued the tender in February, and after extending the deadline twice, bids went in on 6 May.

The companies in the running for the contract are:

  • Sener (Spain)
  • Dar al-Handasah (Lebanon)
  • Consultrans (Spain)
  • Italferr & KEO (Italy/local office)
  • Saman Corporation (South Korea)
  • Dohwa Engineering (South Korea)
  • 3TI Architecture and Engineering Consultants ( UAE)
  • SNC Lavalin International (Middle East)
  • Auding Intraesa (Spain)
  • Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain)
  • Idom (Spain)
  • Asie Etudes Engineering Consultants (Oman)

The Oman government originally tendered the rail project last year, but in September decided to retender the scheme.

Work resumed on the scheme at the beginning of the year, when the Omani government identified the rail network as a priority investment in its 2013 budget.

The government also announced it would use some of the billions of dollars of aid pledged by GCC governments to fund the development. The launch of the tender marks another step toward the formation of a GCC-wide railway connection, which will see Oman’s network eventually connect with Qatar and UAE networks.

The planned length of the railway was also revised for the new tender, with the whole project covering 2,244 kilometres rather than the original plan of 1,061km.

The extension to the original network includes a connection to Salalah port in the south of Oman. There are a total of nine segments planned. The first segment covers 136km connecting Sohar to the UAE border, with additional spurs to Al-Buraymi and Sohar railway yard covering 35km.The second segment covers 330km between Al-Sunayah to Sinaw, while the third section covers 340km between Sinaw to Duqm.

Section four covers 696km from Duqm to Thumrayt and then on to Salalah port.

Section five covers 242km between Sohar Port to Muscat, plus an additional link to Muscat Central station. Section six links Al-Misfah to Sinaw, while the seventh section covers Sinaw to Ibra. Section eight links Thumrayt to Mazyouah over a planned 157km of track. The final section connects Sohar port to the UAE border at Khatmat Milahah.