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Hokkaido Railway Company
Native name
北海道旅客鉄道株式会社
Hokkaidō Ryokaku Tetsudō ("Hokkaido Passenger Railway") kabushiki gaisha
TypeState-owned KK
IndustryPrivate railway
PredecessorJapanese National Railways (JNR)
FoundedApril 1, 1987 (privatization of JNR)
Headquarters,
Japan
Area served
Hokkaido
ProductsKitaca (a rechargeable contactless smart card)
ServicesPassenger rail
Freight services
Intercity bus
OwnerJapan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (100%)
Number of employees
7,970 (as of April 1, 2007)
SubsidiariesJR Hokkaido Bus
Websitewww.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global

The Hokkaido Railway Company (北海道旅客鉄道株式会社, Hokkaidō Ryokaku Tetsudō Kabushiki-gaisha) is one of the constituent companies of the Japan Railways Group (JR Group), and is often referred to using its official abbreviation of JR Hokkaido (JR北海道, Jeiāru Hokkaidō). It operates intercity and local rail services in Hokkaido, Japan. The company introduced Kitaca, a smart card ticketing system, in autumn 2008.

At the time of its privatization in 1987, JR Hokkaido operated 21 railway lines totalling 3,176.6 kilometres (1,973.8 mi) of narrow-gauge (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)) track, as well as a ferry service to Aomori. Since then, that figure has dwindled to just below 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi), as unprofitable lines have been shut down or spun off (in the case of the Hokkaidō Chihoku Kōgen Railway). The ferry service has also been replaced by the Seikan Tunnel.

On 19 November 2016, JR Hokkaido's President announced plans to further rationalize its network by the withdrawal of services from up to 1,237 km, or about 50% of the current network,[1] including closure of the remaining section of the Rumoi Main Line (the Rumoi - Mashike section closed on 4 December 2016), the Shin-Yubari - Yubari section of the Sekisho Line (closed on 1 April 2019), the non-electrified section of the Sassho Line (closed 17 April 2020) and the Nemuro Line between Furano and Kami-Ochiai Junction. Other lines including the Sekihoku Main Line, Senmo Main Line, the Nayoro - Wakkanai section of the Soya Line and Kushiro - Nemuro section of the Nemuro Line are proposed for conversion to Third Sector operation, but if local governments are not agreeable, such sections will also face closure. In March 2021, 18 unmanned stations were closed due to a decrease in the number of passengers.

Hokkaido Railway's headquarters are in Chūō-ku, Sapporo.[2]

History

Headquarters and branch offices

Headquarters building
Headquarters building

Lines and key stations

KiHa 283 series DMU Ōzora
KiHa 283 series DMU Ōzora
789-1000 series EMU Super Kamui
789-1000 series EMU Super Kamui

Shinkansen

Trunk lines

  1. ^ Most trains run between Sapporo and Oshamanbe.

Other lines

Sapporo Station

Under construction

Former lines

The company also operated the Seikan Ferry until 1988.

Former JNR lines closed before JR Hokkaido formation

These lines have been closed by JNR in Hokkaido before April 1, 1987.

References

  1. ^ "JR Hokkaido says it can't maintain half of its railways". 2016-11-19. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02.
  2. ^ "会社概要 Archived 2013-10-14 at the Wayback Machine." Hokkaido Railway Company. Retrieved on March 27, 2010.