Design tender floated for Oman’s National Railway Network

A much-awaited tender for the preliminary design tender of Oman’s National Railway Network was floated here yesterday, paving the way for the implementation of the estimated RO 6 billion project to begin in earnest. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is overseeing the execution of the ambitious scheme, which will add for the first time a rail component to the country’s multimodal transportation system. The national network will also be integrated with a GCC-wide rail system that will eventually link all six Gulf states.

Tender 4/2013 invites qualified international consultants to bid for an award for the provision of consultancy services to the Ministry for the preliminary design of the National Railway Project. It is understood that the tender process is not limited to the five consortiums that were prequalified to bid for the now shelved design engineering package floated by authorities prior to a comprehensive review of the rail project undertaken by the Ministry. In effect, design consultancy firms that did not take part in the original tender process can participate this time around. Similarly, a tender for the Project Management Consultancy Package, due to be floated within the next 2 — 3 months, is expected to be open to fresh bids.

Significantly, the tender comes just over a month after the government formally gave its assent to diesel-based traction as the primary mode of locomotion for Oman’s national rail system, abandoning an earlier decision to operate the network on electricity. The National Railway System is part of the proposed inter-GCC railway network that will run from Kuwait to Muscat, and onward to Salalah and possibly to Yemen. The 1,061-kilometre national network will be built in phases. Phase 1 will consist of four segments: (i) from Sohar Port to Muscat (comprising a 242km link from Sohar Port to Al Misfah (Muscat), an 8km spur line to Sohar Railway Yard, and a 20km link from Al Misfah to Muscat Central Station; (ii) from Muscat to Duqm Port (comprising a 486km line from Al Misfah to Duqm, and an 84km link from Sinaw to Ibra; (iii) from Sohar to the UAE border via Al Ain (comprising a 136km line from Sohar to Al Ain and a 27km spur to Buraimi. The Duqm — Salalah section is also proposed to be implemented as part of phase one, although a 58km length from Sohar to Khatmat Malaha on the UAE border has been deferred to a subsequent phase.


Source : Zawya

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