The RAF base on the island of Masirah in the Indian Ocean was served by a narrow gauge railway network from the Second World War until the 1960s. It was maintained in working order and saw occasional use until 1977, when the base and the island were handed over to the Omani government.
There were no other railways in Oman until the Al Hoota (or Al Hotta) Cave opened to the public as a show cave in 2006. The complex has a narrow gauge railway linking the visitor centre with the cave entrance. New electric trains were introduced in 2011.
In 2013, a company was established to manage the development of a new standard (1435mm) gauge rail network of over 2000km. An initial section of 207km would have run from the port of Sohar to the UAE border, where it would connect with the network of that country. Little progress was made and were shelved.
In 2021, the Oman National Spatial Strategy announced new projects including a passenger railway from Muscat to Sohar, and a light rail metro for Muscat.
In 2022, an agreement was signed with the government of United Arab Emirates for the construction of a 303km railway from the port of Sohar to a connection with Etihad Railways at Fujairah, UAE.
© 2004-2023 Glyn Williams
Photo image from the website of Al Hoota Cave