Hokkaido Railway Company

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Hokkaido Railway Company
Native name
Hokkaidō Ryokaku Tetsudō ("Hokkaido Passenger Railway") kabushiki gaisha
Company typeState-owned KK
IndustryPrivate railway
PredecessorJapanese National Railways (JNR)
FoundedApril 1, 1987; 37 years ago (1987-04-01)
(privatization of JNR)
Area served
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

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 The ferry service has also been replaced by the Seikan Tunnel.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 Shintoku. 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. JR Hokkaido closed 25 stations from March 2021 to March 2022 due to a decrease in passengers.[2][3]

JR Hokkaido's headquarters are in Chūō-ku, Sapporo.[4]


Headquarters and branch offices[edit]

Headquarters building
  • Headquarters: 1-1-15 Kita-11-jō-Nishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo
  • Branch offices:
    • Asahikawa branch office: 6-4152-2 Miyashita-dōri, Asahikawa
    • Hakodate branch office: 12-5 Wakamatsu-chō, Hakodate
    • Kushiro branch office: 5-14 Kita-ōdōri, Kushiro

Lines and key stations[edit]

Lines of JR Hokkaido
KiHa 283 series DMU Ōzora
789-1000 series EMU Super Kamui


Trunk lines[edit]

  1. ^ Most trains run between Sapporo and Oshamanbe.

Other lines[edit]

Sapporo Station

Under construction[edit]

Former lines[edit]

These lines were closed under the ownership of JR Hokkaido since 1987.[5]

The company also operated the Seikan Ferry until 1988.

Former JNR lines closed before JR Hokkaido formation[edit]

These lines have been closed by JNR in Hokkaido before 1 April 1987.[5]


  1. ^ "JR Hokkaido says it can't maintain half of its railways". 19 November 2016. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017.
  2. ^ JR北海道 18駅を廃止へ 2021年春のダイヤ見直しで (in Japanese). Norimono News. 9 December 2020. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021.
  3. ^ JR北海道 7駅廃止へ 3月ダイヤ改正 札沼線に新駅開業 (in Japanese). Norimono News. 17 December 2021. Archived from the original on 11 February 2022.
  4. ^ "会社概要 Archived 2013-10-14 at the Wayback Machine." Hokkaido Railway Company. Retrieved on 27 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b JR釧路支社 鉄道百年の歩み. Hokkaido Railway Company. 2001.
  6. ^ "鉄道事業の一部廃止の日を繰り上げる届出について" (PDF). 国土交通省北海道運輸局鉄道部. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  7. ^ "留萌線(石狩沼田・留萌間)の廃止日繰上げの届出について" (PDF). 北海道旅客鉄道. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  8. ^ "鉄道事業の一部廃止の日を繰り上げる届出について" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  9. ^ JR石勝線の夕張支線が最終運行 廃線し、バス転換へ [The last operating of Yūbari branch line, it closed and will be replaced by bus]. asahi.com (in Japanese). Japan: The Asahi Newspapers Co., Ltd. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ "The Last Service on Sasshō Line (Hokkaidō-Iryōdaigaku - Shin-Totsukawa)" (PDF). 16 April 2020.
  11. ^ Ishino, Satoshi (1998). 停車場変遷大事典. 国鉄・JR 編 (in Japanese). Japan Travel Bureau. p. 890. ISBN 978-4-533-02980-6.
  12. ^ Ishino, Satoshi (1998). 停車場変遷大事典. 国鉄・JR 編 (in Japanese). Japan Travel Bureau. p. 888. ISBN 978-4-533-02980-6.

External links[edit]