QUEENSLAND coal hauler Aurizon Holdings has started talks to sell a stake of up to $3.5 billion in its existing coal railways.
Aurizon on Monday said it had approached potential investors in a minority stake in its Central Queensland Coal Network.
News Ltd reports the move comes as Aurizon talks with the companies of the nation's two richest miners, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest, about taking stakes in railway infrastructure.
The company has decided to separate debt facilities at Aurizon and its subsidiary, Aurizon Networks, which owns the government-regulated Central Queensland Coal Network assets.
The company, which was floated by the Queensland government as QR National in 2010, said the new structure would allow it to introduce minority partners into Aurizon Network, allowing it to take capital from the regulated business for capital management or growth projects.
Aurizon has also been shortlisted as a potential developer of rail and port infrastructure for Galilee Basin coal projects in Queensland, run by India's GVK and Mrs Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.