Galesburg Trade Mission to Oman

February  24, 2014

      Companies from Galesburg and western Illinois may help build a huge railroad project in the Middle East. This week a trade mission, organized by the city, is visiting the country of Oman.

      Galesburg's Global Strategies Director, Gary Camarano, says the overall project is for a 40,000 kilometer rail line linking all the major countries in the region, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. About 10 per cent of the line will be built in Oman. 

      "The Omanis have a shopping list and it's pretty much A to Z - anything that has to do with rairoads. From the rail bed - crushed stone, concrete, and aggregate - to track, sleepers, and railroad ties."

       One member of the trade mission is Koppers which makes railroad ties and connectors, while another is Freight Car America which makes a variety of rail cars. 

       "And not only will direct exporters see business, but what we want to do is get other businesses in the Galesburg and west central Illinois region, involved in the supply chain. We've got a lot of metal fabricators that could make the parts that go into the final export."

       Camarano and the trade mission travelled overseas Friday, and the week-long trade mission to Oman began Sunday. They'll tour the country and meet with government officials, the rail project managers, and the US ambassador.