RELATED ARTICLES: Oman rail link in 'intensive' design stageThree firms surface in bid for Oman railway design Oman railway project managers in place this year

Oman Rail has set stringent minimum qualification criteria for the design and build package of its national railway project.

Contractors seeking to prequalify for the package must have experience in the final design and construction of a single railway infrastructure project in the last five years with a total project construction value of more than $1bn (OMR 385mn).

They should also have undertaken the detailed design and construction of at least one railway tunnel or road tunnel of at least 500 metres in the last five years.

Prospective bidders should also have experience in the final detailed design of railway civil infrastructure for at least one major railway project in the last five years covering at least 200 kilometres (km) of double track (with design speed of at least 160 km/hour).

The selected contractor will undertake a detailed design based on the preliminary design submitted by Italferr, the Italian rail consultancy appointed as the Preliminary Design Consultant (PDC) for the national railway project.

The final detailed design will cover the alignment and earthworks, railway track, tunnels, bridges and other structures, operations and maintenance centre, ancillary facilities, railway stations and utilities.

Civil works constitute a key component of the design and build package, covering all the required earthworks, track work, switches and crossings, construction of railway depots, freight and operational facilities, railway maintenance compounds, highways and access roads, drainage channels, railway embankments and sand mitigation zones.

Also as part of its remit, the design and build contractor will build all structures, including railway tunnels, under-bridges and over-bridges, camel bridges, culverts and crossings for pipelines and utilities.

Facilities for freight, loading and unloading, operations and maintenance buildings, are included as well.

The railway technology systems package for this segment will be executed by the nominated prequalified contractor who will be subcontracted by the main contractor. Integration, testing and commissioning of the network are also the responsibility of the main contractor.

Targeted for initial implementation is a 171km segment from Sohar City to Al Buraimi on Oman’s border with the United Arab Emirates.