Turkish company Yapi Merkezi has signed a $1.9bn contract for the construction of a 368km segment of standard gauge railway in Tanzania.

The gauge width will have the same specifications as the standard-gauge railway that was constructed by China in neighbouring Kenya, reported Nikkei Asia.

The new segment is part of a 1,219km track, which will be built in five phases, and once completed is expected to bolster trade with the neighbouring nations.

In a televised ceremony, Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) director general Masanja Kadogosa said that the latest section will join Makutopora and Tabora in Tanzania’s central region.

This latest contract is for the third phase of a planned railway project, with Yapi Merkezi already reaching completion of the first and second phase.

The complete construction that includes signalisation, electrification, and telecommunication, is expected to be finished in 46 months.

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By GlobalData

The entire route will link Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam with Mwanza, which is located on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Yapi Merkezi is also in discussion with the Tanzanian authorities for the fourth phase of 167 km. It lost the bid for fifth phase to a Chinese consortium in 2020, reported Nikkei Asia.

Separately, Bangladesh Railway reached an agreement with a China-based company for the acquisition of 580 meter-gaudge wagons, with an aim to extend its freight operations across the country.

The deal holds a value of nearly $37m (BDT3.19bn).

The Chinese firm will deliver the wagons within 18-30 months.

Last month, Bangladesh and Japan signed a $1.1bn loan agreement for the construction of Dhaka’s first underground metro rail project, Mass Rapid Transit Line-1.