The Chinese government has hired three banks to handle the public listing of a railway holding company, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in an IPO that could be worth around $5 billion.

China International Capital Corp., JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Macquarie (MQG.AX) were hired to arrange the expected IPO next year of a company controlling the rail link between Shanghai and Beijing, the source said.

A separate source has said a significant amount of operational restructuring needed to take place before the railway company can be listed.

Neither source specified the name of the new holding company.

Representatives of the banks were not immediately availble for comment. (Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Chris Lewis)