Oman Rail unveils plans to build freight terminals, stations along Sohar Buraimi segment

Posted on 27th August 2014

According to news reports in the Oman Observer, plans have been drawn up by Oman Rail Company, which has been tasked by the Sultanate’s government to implement the Oman National Railway project, envisage the construction of a number of passenger stations, maintenance depots, freight terminals and wayside maintenance centres at key locations along the Sohar-Buraimi stretch currently under tender.

OmanRail

In all, five intercity passenger stations are planned along the 207 kilometer route of the Sohar-Buraimi corridor, representing Segment 1 of the 2,135 kilometer national rail network. These are envisaged at Hafeet (medium GCC intercity type), Al Wasit (commuter), Sohar City (medium GCC intercity), Zurub (commuter) and Buraimi (small/medium GCC intercity).

Construction of these facilities will be undertaken as part of the - dollar Design & Build package of Segment 1 tendered out by Oman Rail earlier this week. All 18 international consortiums and joint ventures that were earlier prequalified by Oman Rail to participate in this competitive tender have until December 21, 2014 to submit their proposals.

When completed and brought into operation in 2018, Segment 1 will connect the Port of Sohar with the GCC rail network at Oman’s border with the UAE at Buraimi and Khatmat Milahah. It will also serve as a vital lifeline for the transportation of rail-based freight to and from Sohar Port to markets deep into the Arabian Peninsula.

Given the segment’s pivotal role as a conduit for freight plying between Sohar and Gulf markets, Oman Rail has plans to establish a series of freight terminals at vantage points between the industrial port and Hafeet close to the border with the UAE. Hafeet will host a major complex of freight terminals catering to the handling of containers, break bulk cargo and liquids. Rail links will be provided for these freight terminals to connect them to the national railway line through the marshalling yard at Hafeet.

Buraimi too has been tipped to host substantial rail freight terminal infrastructure because of its proximity to the border. Freight terminals are planned for the handling of containers and bulk cargoes, according to authorities.  Sohar Port, at the other end of Segment 1, will be equipped with a major Intermodal Logistics Hub that will be integrated with the national rail network through the marshalling yard of the port. The hub’s intermodal capabilities will allow for containers and other cargoes to be freighted from Sohar to their intended destinations either by road or rail.

Oman Rail will also invest in comprehensive rail maintenance infrastructure along the alignment of the Sohar-Buraimi stretch. Major depots are planned for the maintenance of rolling stock at Sohar Port, Sohar City, Hafeet and Buraimi.

Sohar Port, in particular, will play host to a facility that will be equipped to provide maintenance services for freight wagons and freight locomotives. It will be the only depot Segment 1 that will be designed to perform heavy overhaul maintenance on rolling stock.

Hafeet, on the other hand, will boast a depot with facilities for the maintenance of freight trains, wagons and locomotives, and passenger train coaches and locomotives. A diesel fuelling facility will be incorporated into this depot. Modest maintenance facilities are planned near the station at Buraimi primarily for the provision of intervention services on passenger trains between two services, says Oman Rail.

Importantly, two marshalling yards will be built at Sohar Port and Hafeet to facilitate the marshalling of freight wagons into trains. While the yard at Sohar Port will mainly serve wagons from the port and the nearby Sohar Industrial Estate, the Hafeet facility will cater to wagons going to and coming from the GCC.

Additionally, wayside maintenance centres will be constructed at Sohar City, Al Wasit and Hafeet. They will allow for the overtaking of trains, diversion from one line to another, and for the change of track in the event of an out-of-service track. For overtaking, passing loops and dedicated tracks into stations will be provided. For diversions, switches will be laid to join the lines. (OEPPA Business Development Dept).

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