March 19, 2015: Plans for a world-class rail terminal and rail links that will connect global supply chains with SOHAR Port and Freezone via the GCC Rail project, have received widespread praise from among thousands of government officials, rail operators, and contractors according to SOHAR Executive Commercial Manager Edwin Lammers.
The Oman leg of the GCC Railway will connect all of the Gulf state's logistics hubs but will be predominantly used to get goods in and out of consumer markets in UAE and Saudi Arabia, through SOHAR. The main rail section from SOHAR will stretch across 6 viaducts, 2 tunnels, and 122 kilometres of track before reaching UAE. Meanwhile, as one of the world's largest port and freezone development sites, Mr Lammers said the multimodal nature of SOHAR and its position outside the Strait of Hormuz proved to be a point of interest.
"We have been inundated with enquiries – particularly the time and cost savings associated with distributing cargo from outside the Strait of Hormuz, the status of the hundreds of kilometres of expressways being built across Oman, and how each element of our multimodal infrastructure at SOHAR – road, rail, air, and sea – will offer access to the region's big consumer markets.
"While faster road and new air transportation links are now available after the opening of Sohar Airport, rail holds the most promise in terms of cargo volumes and efficiency. When fully operational, the transport time for cargo departing SOHAR railway station for the UAE border will be fixed at around one hour," he said.