Oman’s Supreme Committee for Town Planning is inviting consultants to submit prequalification documents by 31 May for the design contract for Oman’s national railway.

France’s Systra and the local National Engineering Office have carried out the feasibility study for the project.

The project will be constructed in three phases. The first phase will comprise a 230-kilometre line that runs from Sohar to Muscat. The second phase will be a 560km line running from Muscat to Duqm. Oman may then choose to extend the line to Salalah, which would involve building a 580km track (MEED 15:2:09).

Later plans may also see the railway extend into Muscat city itself, which would involve building a metro system.

The network will be designed for high speed trains with speeds of up to 350km a hour for passenger travel and 200km a hour for freight trains.

Muscat is building its own national railway network that will eventually feed into the GCC railway.

In March, MEED revealed the detailed plans for the UAE railway network. Abu Dhabi expects to complete the first phase of the $11bn project by 2014. Contractors are expected to be prequalified to bid on the construction contract in September 2010.