On the rails - Oman gets rolling

Today, the Tender Board finally announced that it was tendering for Project Management consultancy services (121/2010) and Design & Supervision consultancy services (120/2010) for National Railway projects here in Oman. The owning organisation is the Supreme Committee for Town Planning. Interesting!

The floats were picked up by Arabian Business here.

The ambitious plan is to 3 launch Construction tenders in 2012 and to complete all three legs of the work concurrently by 2017. I say ambitious because there's an awful lot of pre-contract work that's going to need to take place in order to get this monster done.

An excellent move, and part of a GCC wide initiative for a regional railway network.

The railway will certainly do a lot for building the economy of Oman away from Muscat. I don't know the route yet (but if you do, please do email me!), but I should imagine that I'd be buying up as much real estate as I could around the planned station towns :)

le fin.
On the rails - Oman gets rolling On the rails - Oman gets rolling Reviewed by Sythe on Sunday, April 18, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. How do we think they plan to cope with camels? Or perhaps they'll be extremely slow trains...


  2. Errr....a 'fence' is probably a good a idea.....I'm sure someone will think of that....or not.....

  3. The animals (camels in this case) do tend to become wary of the iron monster and learn to avoid the train track gradually. This problem exists in any country with a train network. For instance in India there have been cases of trains colliding with elephants.

  4. Anon (fence person) - err how practical do you think a fence of several thousand kilometres across the Arabian desert will be? You create a huge barrier to the current free movement of people (eg Bedu in their Lexuses and pickups), livestock (goats and camels) etc, and channel everything into designated crossing points, which will eventually get congested and need managing. If unmanned camels would need to be kept from getting onto the track at these points... how do you do that?

    On top of which the whole fence would have to be continuously maintained.

    Long fences work where land is completely under management and already controlled (like the TGV fences across France)but they would completely change a country like Oman, or Saudi...

    Classic examples include the foot and mouth livestock fence across the Kalahari desert in Botswana; a human, livestock and wildlife tragedy.


  5. Cattle catchers, essentially a snow plough device on the front of the train designed to stop the animal going under the engine and causing a derailment.
    Fences are not an option, in the UK where it is law that 100% of the permanment way is fenced, it does not stop livestock getting on the tracks. During the foot and mouth crisis, I remember having to investigate costs resulting from (its is alleged) a farmer cutting the fence and letting his (alleged) infected stock on the line, there was bits of cow everywhere.
    What ever happens, it'll be an interesting project.


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