State media says China is considering a stock market listing for its valuable Beijing-Shanghai railway line to raise funds for the nation’s massive rail construction plans.
The China Daily reported that the Ministry of Railways may restructure the line linking Shanghai and Beijing into a holding company before floating it.
The report said the line was China’s most valuable, with assets of $44 billion.
The report also said the ministry may additionally merge the assets of the separate Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, which is valued at RMB220 billion ($32.2 billion), into the holding company after it goes public.
The main Beijing-Shanghai rail line is an existing link, while the separate high-speed line is due to become operational next year.
No timetable was given for the plan, which was said to be in its very early stages.
The high-speed line between the two cities is expected to double the capacity the current regular line carries to 80 million passengers a year and cut travel time to about five hours from 12 hours, it said.
AFP reported the government has said it planned to add 41,000 kilometres (25,400 miles) of rail lines to its existing network at a cost of $731 billion by 2020, bringing the total length of the system to 120,000 kilometres.