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West Japan Railway Company
Type Public KK
TYO: 9021
Osaka SE: 9021
Nagoya SE: 9021
Fukuoka SE: 9021
Predecessor Japan National Railways (JNR)
Founded April 1, 1987 (1987-04-01) (privatization of JNR)
Headquarters 4-24 Shibata 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-8341[1],  Japan
Area served San'yo Shinkansen
Kansai region
Chugoku region
Hokuriku region
Shin'etsu region
Key people Noritaka Kurauchi
(倉内 憲孝), Chairman[1]
Masao Yamazaki
(山崎 正夫), President[1]
Industry Private railroad
Products ICOCA (a rechargeable contactless smart card)
Services passenger railways [1]
bus services[1]
sales of goods and food services[1]
real estate[1]
other related businesses [1]
Revenue JPY ¥1.29 trillion (2008) [1]
Operating income JPY ¥137.4 billion (2008) [1]
Net income JPY ¥57.7 billion (2008) [1]
Total assets JPY ¥2.46 trillion (2008) [1]
Total equity JPY ¥670.8 billion (2008) [1]
Owner(s) Japan Trustee Services Bank (Trust Unit) (5.70%)
The Master Trust Bank of Japan (Trust Unit) (5.27%)
Mizuho Corporate Bank (3.45%)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (3.20%)
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (3.15%)
JR West Employee Stock-Sharing Plan (1.94%)
State Street Bank and Trust Company 505103 (1.91%)
Nippon Life (1.75%)
Sumitomo Trust and Banking (1.60%)
Dai-ichi Life (1.50%)
(as of March 31, 2008)[1]
Employees 28,690 (as of March 31, 2008) [1]
Divisions Railway operations [1]
Shinkansen management [1]
Subsidiaries 66 consolidated subsidiaries,
including Sagano Scenic Railway[1]
     West Japan Railway Company
JR West 500 Series Shinkansen Nozomi train
National railway Japan Railways Group
Infrastructure company Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency
Ridership 1.818 billion per year [1]
Passenger km 54.585 billion per year [1]
System length
Total 5,024.0 km (3,121.8 mi) [1]
Double track 2,219.0 km (1,378.8 mi) (44.0%) [1]
Electrified 3,397.0 km (2,110.8 mi) (67.6%) [1]
High-speed 644.0 km (400.2 mi) (12.8%) [1]
Main 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
High-speed 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Main 1,500 V DC overhead catenary 2,447 km (1,520 mi) [2]
20 kV AC 60 Hz overhead  278.0 km (172.7 mi)
Hokuriku Main Line
(Tsuruga - Itoigawa)[2]
25 kV AC 60 Hz overhead  644.0 km (400.2 mi)
San'yo Shinkansen[2]
No. tunnels 1,016[2]
Tunnel length 667 km (414 mi)[2]
Longest tunnel The Shin-Kanmon Tunnel
18,713 metres (61,390 ft)
San'yo Shinkansen
(Shin-Shimonoseki - Kokura)[2]
No. bridges 28,568[2]
Longest bridge The Yoshii River Bridge
669 m (2,190 ft)
San'yo Shinkansen
(Okayama - Aioi)[2]
No. stations 1,221[1]

Service area
Route Map(Japanese)
ICOCA Service Area(Japanese)

West Japan Railway Company (西日本旅客鉄道株式会社 Nishi-Nihon Ryokaku Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha ?), also referred to as JR West (JR西日本 Jeiāru Nishi-Nihon ?), is one of the Japan Railways Group (JR Group) companies and operates in western Honshū.



JR West was incorporated as a business corporation (kabushiki kaisha) on April 1, 1987 as part of the breakup of government-owned Japanese National Railways (JNR). Initially, it was a wholly owned subsidiary of the JNR Settlement Corporation (JNRSC), a special company created to hold the assets of the former JNR while they were shuffled among the new JR companies.

For the first four years of its existence, JR West leased its highest-revenue line, the Sanyō Shinkansen, from the separate Shinkansen Holding Corporation. JR West purchased the line in October 1991 at a cost of 974.1 billion JPY (about 7.2 billion USD) in long-term payable debt.

JNRSC sold 68.3% of JR West in an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in October 1996. After JNRSC was dissolved in October 1998, its shares of JR West were transferred to the government-owned Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation (JRCC), which merged into the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) as part of a bureaucratic reform package in October 2003. JRTT offered all of its shares in JR West to the public in an international IPO in 2004, ending the era of government ownership of JR West. JR West is now listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nagoya Stock Exchange, Osaka Securities Exchange and Fukuoka Stock Exchange.

JR West continues to be burdened by debt sustained by JNR up to 1987, although through refinancing, it has managed to halve its interest payments over the last ten years.



Sanyō Shinkansen

100 Series Shikansen train

JR West's highest-grossing line is the Sanyō Shinkansen high speed rail line between Osaka and Fukuoka. The Sanyō Shinkansen alone accounts for about 40% of JR West's passenger revenues. The company also operates Hakata Minami Line, a short commuter line with Shinkansen trains in Fukuoka.

Urban Network

The "Urban Network" is JR West's name for its commuter rail lines in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. These lines together comprise 610 km of track, have 245 stations and account for about 40% of JR West's passenger revenues. Urban Network stations are equipped to handle ICOCA fare cards. Train control on these lines is highly automated, and during peak hours trains run as often as every two minutes.

JR West's Urban Network competes with a number of private commuter rail operators around Osaka, the "Big 4" being Hankyū Railway/Hanshin Railway (Hankyu bought Hanshin in 2005), Keihan Railway, Kintetsu, and Nankai Railway. JR West's market share in the region is roughly equal to that of the Big 4 put together, largely due to its comprehensive network and high-speed commuter trains (Special Rapid Service trains on the Kobe and Kyoto lines operate at up to 130 km/h).

223 Series EMU for the Urban Network

Those in italics are announcement names.

Intercity and regional lines

Limited Express Yakumo on the Hakubi Line
Diesel train on the Tsuyama Line express service

A number of other lines account for more than half of JR West's track mileage. These lines primarily handle business and leisure travel between smaller cities and rural areas in western Japan. They account for about 20% of the company's passenger revenues.

Intercity lines

Regional lines

Other businesses

Headquarters of JR West in Kita-ku, Osaka

JR West subsidiaries include:

  • Chūgoku JR Bus Company - Intercity bus operator
  • Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd
  • Sagano Scenic Railway
  • JR West Miyajima Ferry Company - operator of JR Miyajima Ferry service to the island of Miyajima
  • West JR Bus Company - Intercity bus operator
  • West Japan Railway Hotel Development Company - Owns Hotel Granvia Kyoto
  • West Japan Railway Isetan - A joint venture with Isetan; operates the Isetan department store in Kyoto Station


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y West Japan Railway Company. "2008 Annual Report". Retrieved 6 July 2009.  (English)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h West Japan Railway Company. "Company Profile 2007-2008 ebook". Retrieved 6 July 2009.  (English)

External links


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