Oman is planning a new rail network from the Batinah region to its border with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A feasibility study for the project is being carried out by French firm Systra Consulting and Oman’s National Engineering Office and is expected to be finished before the end of 2009.

The project involves building a rail system running the length of the Batinah region with links to Al Buraimi near the UAE border. Further extensions to Duqm and Salalah are also under planning.

The study includes delineating the Batinah Railway network into three key sections, a nearly 260km section from Barka to Khatmat Malaha on Oman’s northern border with the UAE, a nearly 30km section from Barka to Rusayl and a nearly 110km branch line from Sohar to Al Buraimi.

The project would be undertaken by the Supreme Committee for Town Planning. A contract for the engineering design consultancy services is expected to be awarded by mid-2010.

The mostly double-track broad-gauge network, which would initially serve freight trains, will be integrated into an inter-Gulf Cooperation Council rail system in the future.