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West Japan Railway Company

West Japan Railway Company
Native name 西日本旅客鉄道株式会社
Type Public (K.K.)
Traded as TYO: 9021
OSE: 9021
NSE: 9021
FSE: 9021
Industry Private railroad
Predecessors Japanese National Railways
Founded Osaka, Japan (April 1, 1987 (1987-04-01), privatization of JNR)
Headquarters 4-24 Shibata 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-8341, Japan
Area served
Key people Takayuki Sasaki (Executive Chairman of the Board)[1]
Seiji Manabe (Representative Director and President)[1]
Products ICOCA (a rechargeable contactless smart card)
Revenue Increase ¥1,298,913 million (FY 2013)[1]
Operating income Increase ¥129,497 million (FY 2013)[1]
Net income Increase ¥60,198 million (FY 2013)[1]
Total assets Increase ¥2,613,743 million (FY 2013)[1]
Total equity Increase ¥768,174 million (FY 2013)[1]
Owners Japan Trustee Services Bank (4.93%)
The Master Trust Bank of Japan (3.89%)
Mizuho Corporate Bank (3.33%)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (3.30%)
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (3.25%)
West Japan Railway Employee Shareholding Association (2.43%)
Japan Trustee Services Bank (Trust Arm No. 9) (2.19%)
Nippon Life (2.06%)
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (1.65%)
(as of 31 March 2013)[1]
  • consolidated: 45,402
  • non-consolidated: 26,778
  • (as of March 31, 2012)
  • Railway operations
  • Shinkansen management
     West Japan Railway Company
National railway Japan Railways Group
Infrastructure company Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency
Ridership 1.778 billion per year[2]
Passenger km 52.614 billion per year[2]
System length
Total 5,012.7 km (3,114.7 mi)[2]
Double track 2,253.2 km (1,400.1 mi) (44.9%)[2]
Electrified 3,385.7 km (2,103.8 mi) (67.5%)[2]
High-speed 644.0 km (400.2 mi) (12.8%)[2]
Track gauge
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)[4]
20 kV AC 60 Hz overhead  278.0 km (172.7 mi)
Hokuriku Main Line
(Tsuruga - Itoigawa)[4]
25 kV AC 60 Hz overhead  644.0 km (400.2 mi)
Sanyo Shinkansen[4]
No. tunnels 1,016[4]
Tunnel length 667 km (414 mi)[4]
Longest tunnel The Shin-Kanmon Tunnel
18,713 metres (61,394 ft)
Sanyo Shinkansen
(Shin-Shimonoseki - Kokura)[4]
No. bridges 28,568[4]
Longest bridge The Yoshii River Bridge
669 m (2,195 ft)
Sanyo Shinkansen
(Okayama - Aioi)[4]
No. stations 1,222[2]
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. It has its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka.[2]


  • Lines 1
    • Sanyō Shinkansen 1.1
    • Urban Network 1.2
    • Intercity and regional lines 1.3
      • Intercity lines 1.3.1
      • Regional lines 1.3.2
  • Other businesses 2
  • History 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Sanyō Shinkansen

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 Hankyu 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 mainly 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 the following.


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 US$7.2 billion) 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 the 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.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h West Japan Railway Company. "JR West 2013 Annual Business Report (Japanese)". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k West Japan Railway Company. "2011 Annual Report". Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ West Japan Railway Company (April 27, 2012). "Supplemental Data Fiscal Year ended March 31, 2011". Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h West Japan Railway Company. "Company Profile 2007-2008 ebook". Retrieved July 6, 2009. 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • West Japan Railway Company
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