Britain is in talks with China over giving Beijing’s state-owned railway builder a role in constructing the HS2 high-speed rail line.
The China Railway Construction Corporation says it could build the line in five years and at a lower cost than is currently forecast, according to the Financial Times
The fast train line would connect Birmingham to cities in the north of the UK including Manchester and Leeds.
The UK Department for Transport’s said “preliminary discussions” have taken place, but no “concrete commitments” have been made.
It comes after Boris Johnson this week approved the controversial scheme.
Under current plans, the final stretch of the line is not due to be completed until 2040 – although Mr Johnson has said he wants that brought forward to 2035.