Oman has released the tender for the project management consultancy contract for its national rail project.

The Ministry of Transport and Communication has set the bid deadline for 29 July, with documents distributed until 11 July.

The tender is another major step forward for the planned national railway and comes just weeks after consultants submitted bids for the preliminary design consultancy in early May.

It is expected that the pre-qualification process for various design and build packages is expected to start later in 2013.

The ministry is ramping up its efforts to build a 2,244 kilometre rail network in 2013, after it decided to retender the whole project in September 2012.

At the beginning of the year the Omani government said it would use some of the billions of pledged by GCC governments to fund the development.

The latest railway plans feature some revisions to the original tender, including the length of the track being extended from 1,061 kilometres to 2,244km.

The extension includes a connection to Salalah port in the south of Oman. There are a total of nine segments planned.