Oman Rail is on track with its rail project, although it could take another four years before the first line is operational, a top official said.
The company was refocusing its priorities on using rail in non-coastal areas to transport tonnes of materials such as dolomite, gypsum and marble to its three major ports at Sohar, Duqm and Salalah, Oman Rail’s chief commercial officer John Lesniewski was quoted as saying by Oman Observer, which cited The National.
Oman Rail had already significantly advanced plans for its $11 billion rail network, which was due to be built in four segments, the report said.
The first of these phases was meant to comprise 207 kilometres of track running from the sultanate’s border with the UAE at Buraimi to Sohar Industrial Port. Tenders were floated in September 2014 and an award was expected to be made last year.
He added that lines could be run from mineral areas in the north and south through existing oil and gas fields in Oman’s central spine so that the railway can also be used to deliver pipelines, equipment, food and other supplies.
“We’re looking at this year where we do the reassessment and initial early planning. Then next year we will do the tendering, and then probably two-and-a-half years after that of actual construction,” he added.
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