Construction will begin this year on a railroad linking Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu Province, and Chongqing Municipality, on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
Gansu governor Xu Shousheng said the provincial government had decided that a special railway investment company be set up to represent the provincial government and participate in investing, building and operating the new railway.
The Lanzhou-Chongqing double line will run 800 km from Lanzhou, pass through Longnan in Gansu, Guangyuan and Nanchong cities in Sichuan, to Chongqing. It will cost 55.5 billion yuan (US$6.94 billion) to be shared by the Ministry of Railways, Gansu, Sichuan provinces and Chongqing.
The railway is intended to increase exchanges between Northwest and Southwest China and benefit economic development along its length.
Railways Minister Liu Zhijun was quoted as describing the Lanzhou-Chongqing railway as a "strategic national route".
"It will be a convenient, fast and efficient transport route for freight and goods alike between Northwest and Southwest China, " said Liu.