Oman Transport Minister Dr Ahmed Mohammed Salim Al Futaisi said last week that the new Oman railway network will be part of an integrated transport network to include road, rail, air and sea, and should boost development in the area. The intent is to help the Sultanate diversify away from oil exports and help drive other industries.
An integrated transport network will be a vital resource for Oman’s industry and trade. The rail links to ports should help boost trade in a variety of ways. One vision is to help bypass the Strait of Hormuz so in time of heightened tensions with Iran, trade can come inland. Other areas envisioned include non oil industry trading through an efficient network by road, rail and then by sea to international markets.
In linking up with the GGC Railway Network, so regional trade will be improved. Oman’s 2244 km network will link the GCC countries with the Yemeni border by 2018. It will feature double, non electrified track and allow freight trains to travel at up to 120 km/h with passenger trains running at 220 km/h.