China’s top economic planner approved a 247 billion-yuan ($36 billion) railway plan to link Beijing to neighboring cities as part of a government effort to improve connectivity around the nation’s capital.

The proposal is for nine lines connecting Beijing to the nearby port city of Tianjin and cities in northern Hebei province, as well as to a new airport in the capital, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website Monday. The government is seeking a range of investors for the project, it said, without providing more details.

The links, planned for completion before 2020, add to measures to improve rail transportation between Beijing and the northern cities. The government also plans to set up more train stations in towns and smaller cities, as well as improve coordination among transit hubs to cut down travel time.

Shares of state-owned rail and construction companies rallied in Shanghai on Monday. China State Construction Engineering Corp. jumped as much as 10 percent, the largest intraday gain since July 2015. China Railway Construction Corp. advanced as much as 7.7 percent, and China Railway Group Ltd. climbed as much as 6.5 percent.

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Tags: china
Photo Credit: The Chinese government approved a $36 billion railway plan to link Beijing to neighboring cities. Pictured are attendants on board a high-speed train from Beijing to Zhengzhou in 2012. China Daily / Reuters