Transnordestina Logística SA, the railway unit of Brazilian steelmaking giant Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, on Thursday asked securities industry watchdog CVM for permission to register as a publicly listed company, a step that often precedes issuance of new debt or shares.

The company, which has about 113 railcars and 3,601 km (2,250 miles) of railways under management, of which about 1,500 km remains under construction, is based in the northeastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza. The company was created by CSN, as the steel company is known, in 1998.