Oman’s Supreme Committee for Town Planning has prequalified firms to bid for two major consultancy contracts on the development of Oman’s national railway.

The two contracts include the design and supervision contract and the project management consultancy contract. It is understood that about 10 companies have been prequalified to bid for the deals.

Companies that have prequalified say that they have been advised to prepare for a meeting in Muscat on 9 February.

In June 2010, 32 companies submitted prequalification documents for the design and supervision services contract, while 33 firms submitted prequalification documents for the project management consultancy contract (MEED 20:6:10).

The railway 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 decide to extend the line to Salalah, which would involve building another 580km of track.

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

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