Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks to Alex Adams of Muscat Daily for the latest update on the Sultanates railway plan in today's Business section.

Pertinent facts of the railway line are:

  • It will be 1000 KM long with sub-lines branching to feed various towns (eg Nizwa)
  • It will be a dual line (one each way)
  • Passenger trains will reach speeds of 200 KM/h
  • Freight trains will reach speeds of 120 KM/h
  • It will be a fully electrified line, allowing for upgrading in the future should it be required
  • Expected passengers per day between Muscat and Batinah region to be 3000; between Muscat and Salalah, 1000 people per day.
  • Expected freight to be exported to UAE each day around 11mn tonnes, and imported around 2.5mn tonnes.
  • The tender for Construction is expected to be floated in Q4 of 2012 or Q1 of 2013, with completion slated for 2017
Additionally, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will be using Diesel trains on their rail networks, while Bahrain and Qatar will be joining Oman on the electrified route. I wonder how border crossings will work - in order to compete with air-travel, the immigration procedures will need to be streamlined. I also guess no direct trains will be available to the UAE - because of the different train technologies, a passenger will have to change trains at the border, a bit of an irritant.

Anyway it's exciting stuff, if you're sad like me and like trains.

le fin.


ynotoman said...

lots of co-ordination within the GCC for a new system !
Oman is isolated and no neighbours to link to - passengers can walk - what about freight - lots of expensive equipment to buy to lift 11million tons (each day?)
Still really interested to find out from Alex Adams why the dead end branch into Ibra ?

Nadia said...

What? So they've finally agreed to go all the way to Salalah? I thought it was stopping in Duqm

Anonymous said...

different systems, sounds like a distaster, unless its a security measure, Oman worried about UAE/Iraq/Iran troops storming over the borber to get at there date

Sythe said...

ynotoman - yes it seems an awkward way of doing things doesnt it?

Nadia - I think it's in phase 2...

Anon - you can set an anonymous name... It seems utterly ridiculous that they are all on different systems. One wonders what on earth is going on, is it not called the Gulf Cooperation Council? Apparently Cooperation is not high on the agenda...

Nobel Pecae for HM Sultan Qaboos said...

Thanks, I Posted your blog on my page/
Great News.

Karim said...

Not true. All GCC rails will be electric, and all will have unified gauges to allow inter-GCC travel without the need to change rails, except the proposed link between Qatar and Abudhabi, which will, untill now, be a Maglev link.

Jason said...

Passengers won't have to change trains when going to the UAE - they will just change the locomotive/engine from electric to diesel at the border. It is a routine change in many places in the world and is expected not to take more than 20 minutes per train. But the line is meant for freight only in the initial phase, it is supposed to start carrying passengers only much later.

Anonymous said...

These things will be air-conditioned then I imagine? Can Oman sustainably afford the electricity bills?

-Omani in US

ynotoman said...

looks as though Muscat Daily needs to do a re-write
and Anonymous - could be closer to the truth than we want with that Gazelle Father scratching around

Popular Posts