Oman study on Inter-GCC rail project underway

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Work underway on a rail-link between the Dhofar in Oman and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Photo – Constructionweekonline.com

Oman announced on Wednesday its Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has initiated work on the feasibility study of the ambitious GCC railway project to boost transport services across the region.

The first stage of the railway project will start at the Oman-UAE border comprising of the 136km Al Ain-Buraimi-Sohar stretch, Sohar to the Oman-UAE border (58km Khatmat Malaha-Fujairah stretch), Sohar to Muscat (242km) and from Muscat to Duqm (486km), Muscat Daily quoted the ministry as saying.

“The GCC secretariat general has authorised a specialised consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study for a railway project from Kuwait to Muscat, then to Salalah extending up to the Oman-Yemen border,” a senior ministry of transport and communication official said.

The grand GCC route includes many sub routes, namely Buraimi (about 27km), Sohar Industrial Port routes (8km) and a route for the central train station in Muscat, near Muscat International Airport (about 84km). The total length of the first stage is 1,061km.

The route for the second stage includes the Duqm-Thumrait-Salalah stretch and Oman-Yemen border (841km) route.

“The initial feasibility study has pointed out that the Duqm-Thumrait-Salalah stretch connecting the Oman-Yemen border (about 841km) will cost the sultanate RO2bn, which is 40 per cent of RO5bn, the amount the Sultanate will spend on the total project,” the release stated.

Meanwhile, the ministry is currently implementing the new Muscat International Airport (MIA) development project which will include new passenger terminals, runways, taxis and aero-bridges. The project also includes an air freight building and air traffic control tower.

The Salalah Airport development project includes a new passenger terminal, air traffic control tower, air freight building and other facilities.

Work is also underway at the domestic airports including Sohar in the governate of North Batinah, Duqm in Al Wusta, Ras al Hadd in South Sharqiyah and Adam in Dakhliyah.

The ministry communique also said it is implementing an early warning centre project in Muscat and building five meteorological stations in Nizwa, Sur, Ibra, Buraimi and Ibri.

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