West Japan Railway Company

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 Honshu. It has its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka.[2]

     West Japan Railway Company
National railwayJapan Railways Group
Infrastructure companyJapan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency
Ridership1.778 billion per year[2]
Passenger km52.614 billion per year[2]
System length
Total5,012.7 km (3,114.7 mi)[2]
Double track2,253.2 km (1,400.1 mi) (44.9%)[2]
Electrified3,385.7 km (2,103.8 mi) (67.5%)[2]
High-speed644.0 km (400.2 mi) (12.8%)[2]
Track gauge
Main1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
High-speed1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Main1,500 V DC overhead catenary 2,447 km (1,520 mi)[5]
20 kV AC 60 Hz overhead 278.0 km (172.7 mi)
Hokuriku Main Line
(Tsuruga - Itoigawa)[5]
25 kV AC 60 Hz overhead 644.0 km (400.2 mi)
Sanyo Shinkansen[5]
No. tunnels1,016[5]
Tunnel length667 km (414 mi)[5]
Longest tunnelThe Shin-Kanmon Tunnel
18,713 metres (61,394 ft)
Sanyo Shinkansen
(Shin-Shimonoseki - Kokura)[5]
No. bridges28,568[5]
Longest bridgeThe Yoshii River Bridge
669 m (2,195 ft)
Sanyo Shinkansen
(Okayama - Aioi)[5]
No. stations1,222[2]
Service area
Route Map(in Japanese)
ICOCA Service Area(in Japanese)
West Japan Railway Company
Native name
Nishi-nihon Ryokaku Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha
lit. "West Japan Passenger Railway Stock Company"
Public KK
Traded asTYO: 9021
OSE: 9021
NSE: 9021
FSE: 9021
TOPIX Large 70 Component
IndustryRail transport
PredecessorJapanese National Railways (JNR)
FoundedOsaka, Japan (April 1, 1987 (1987-04-01), privatization of JNR)
4-24 Shibata 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka, 530-8341
Area served
Key people
Takayuki Sasaki (Executive Chairman of the Board)[1]
Seiji Manabe (Representative Director and President)[1]
ProductsICOCA (a rechargeable contactless smart card)
Revenue ¥1,298,913 million (FY 2013)[3]
¥129,497 million (FY 2013)[3]
¥60,198 million (FY 2013)[3]
Total assets ¥2,613,743 million (FY 2013)[3]
Total equity ¥768,174 million (FY 2013)[3]
OwnersInvestment trusts (TMTBJ 5.52%, JTSB 4.74%)
SMBC (3.33%)
MUFG Bank (3.27%)
Nippon Life (2.08%)
As of 31 March 2018
Number of employees
  • consolidated: 45,402
  • non-consolidated: 26,778
  • (as of March 31, 2012)
  • Railway operations
  • Shinkansen management



JR-West's highest-grossing line is the Sanyo Shinkansen high-speed rail line between Osaka and Fukuoka. The Sanyo 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).

Those in italics are announcement names.

Intercity and regional lines

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

JR-West subsidiaries include the following.

  • West Japan Railway Hotel Development Company - Owns Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Hotel Granvia Osaka, Hotel Granvia Wakayama, Hotel Granvia Okayama, Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, Nara Hotel, Sannomiya Terminal Hotel and Hotel Hopinn Aming
  • West Japan Railway Isetan - A joint venture with Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd; operates the Isetan department store in Kyoto Station
  • West JR Bus Company - Intercity bus operator
  • Chūgoku JR Bus Company - Intercity bus operator
  • Japan Railway West Trading Co.
  • Nippon Travel Agency Co., Ltd
  • Sagano Scenic Railway
  • JR-West Miyajima Ferry Company - operator of JR Miyajima Ferry service to the island of Miyajima


JR-West was incorporated as a business corporation (kabushiki kaisha) on April 1, 1987 as part of the breakup of the state-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.


  1. West Japan Railway Company. "JR West 2013 Annual Business Report (Japanese)" (PDF). Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  2. West Japan Railway Company. "2011 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  3. West Japan Railway Company. "JR West 2013 Earnings Summary (Japanese)" (PDF). Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  4. West Japan Railway Company (April 27, 2012). "Supplemental Data Fiscal Year ended March 31, 2011" (PDF). Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  5. West Japan Railway Company. "Company Profile 2007-2008 ebook". Retrieved July 6, 2009.
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