The Tozai And Namboku lines have been operated since the founding of the railway company while the Hokushin Line is a recent addition to its business. The company is a Category-3 Operator(第三種鉄道事業者,dai-sanshu-tetsudō-jigyōsha?) under the 1986 Railway Business Act of Japan in respect to all three lines.
The company operated and administrated the stations on the Tozai Line and the Namboku Line (except for Sannomiya Station operated by Hankyu, Motomachi Station operated by Hanshin, Nishidai Station operated by Sanyo and Minatogawa Station operated by Shintetsu) until September 2010, when the operation of the stations on the Tozai Line were transferred to Hanshin and Hankyu, and Shinkaichi Station on the Namboku Line to Shintetsu.
The Hokushin Line was formerly owned by the operator, Hokushin Kyuko Electric Railway. When Hokushin Kyuko suffered financial difficulties in 2002, Kobe Rapid Railway purchased the assets of the railway trackage from Hokushin Kyuko.