The restructuring is part of the Chinese government’s broader programme to reform state-owned companies and is intended to make the railway more market orientated.

CR will have a management team and a board of directors, but will not hold shareholder meetings. The Chinese government will remain the only shareholder in the firm.

CR has registered capital of Yuan 1.74 trillion ($US 245bn) and the new entity inherits the rights, intellectual property and debts of CRC.  

“Since 2017, the railway has successively implemented reform of the railway bureau system, its head office, its internal organisation and its non-transport activities,” CR said in a statement. “The railway has shown a strong development trend, safety has remained stable, freight and passenger traffic have continued to grow, operating efficiency has continued to improve. Railway construction has progressed in an orderly way and technological innovations have yielded fruitful results. This has laid a solid foundation for deepening reform of the company.”

CRC was established in 2013 following the dissolution of the Ministry of Railways.