• First 127-kilometre of rail network due for completion in 2018
  • The $15bn link will form part of the GCC rail network

Construction work on the first section of Oman’s new rail network is scheduled to start before the end of this year as the review of commercial bids for the construction work continues.

The 127-kilometre line linking Sohar to Buraimi, which is located along the border with the UAE, will form part of the planned GCC rail network.

The project is the first part of the sultanate’s $15bn national railway project, the last to be announced in the GCC states’ collective rush to address increasing demand for passenger and freight travel, resulting directly from an expansion in population and economic activities.

Oman’s proposed national rail infrastructure, which in its entirety is expected to extend 2,135km across mountains and deserts, is one of the most challenging to execute, not least due to the sultanate’s disproportionate geographical and economic size. Oman has the second-largest geographical size and the second smallest gross domestic product (GDP) in the GCC.

The five bidding groups currently being evaluated by Oman Rail for the first segment include:

Oman is currently prequalifying civils contractors for the second segment of the railway line, which will connect Hafeet, where the first segment ends, to Dhahirah in the northwest of the sultanate. Both segments aim to be operational before 2019.

Seven other packages are currently under study with the civils contracts for each segment due for award between 2016 and 2017.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices