Pakistan and China are planning a joint venture to start a freight train service between the two countries.

The rail service is aimed at improving trade between the two countries according to Pakistan railways minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports.

A 350km track running from China’s Kashgar terminus to Pakistan’s Khunjerab Pass will link the two countries.

The Pakistan Ministry of Railways has recently signed a Rs72m ($870,000) contract with an international consortium to study the feasibility of the line.

The study will cover a 750km section between Havelian and Khunjerab in Pakistan.

The feasibility study will be followed by the preparation of design and PC-1 of the project.

Plans are also on to upgrade the service to a passenger train service in future.

Details about the consortium have not been revealed.