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A private railway is a railroad run by a private business entity (usually a corporation but not need be), as opposed to a railroad run by a public sector.
In Japan, private sector railway (私鉄 or 民鉄, Shitetsu or Mintetsu), commonly simply private railway, refers to a public transit railway owned and operated by private sector, almost always organized as a joint-stock company, or in Japanese: kabushiki gaisha (lit. stock company), but may be any type of private business entity. Although the Japan Railways Group (JR Group) companies are also kabushiki gaishas, they are not classified as private railways because of their unique status as the primary successors of the Japanese National Railways (JNR). Voluntary sector railways (semi-public) are additionally not classified as shitetsu due to their origins as rural, money-losing JNR lines that have since been transferred to local possession, in spite of their organizational structures being corporatized.
Among private railways in Japan, 16 companies are categorized as "major", these same companies also utilize quadruple track and skip-stop services like varying hierarchies of express trains. They are often profitable and tend to be less expensive per passenger-kilometer than JR trains that also run less dense regional routes, and assumed a heavy burden of the former JNR debt. Private railways corporations in Japan also run and generate profits from a variety of other businesses that depend on the traffic generated through their transit systems: hotels, department stores, supermarkets, resorts, and real estate development and leasing.
Japan railways whether government run, semi-public, or private business, are regulated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. They may join unions such as National Railway Workers' Union, but their abilities to call a strike is severely limited by government legislation; there is very little tolerance for railway work stoppage. Employees of private railways may legally strike but its unheard of in Japan. There have only been two notable railroad strikes in Japanese history, both by employees of government run entities (government employees are legally barred from striking): One in 1973,and a major strike protesting the breakup (and layoffs of tens of thousands of employees) of JNR in 1985.
Though private railways such as industrial railways have existed in Japan they are not deemed shitetsu nor mintetsu in Japanese, as their purpose is not public transit.
Tokyo Metro is a member of Associations of Private Japanese Railways but is under special laws and its stock is owned by the Japanese Government and Tokyo Metropolis (pending privatization). Whether Tokyo Metro counts as Shitetsu depends on the speaker.
In the United States, a private railroad is a railroad owned by a company and serves only that company, and does not hold itself out as a "common carrier" (i.e., it does not provide rail transport services for the general public).
The West Japan Railway Company, also referred to as JR-West, is one of the Japan Railways Group companies and operates in western Honshu. It has its headquarters in Kita-ku, Osaka. It is listed in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka stock exchanges, is a constituent of the TOPIX Large70 index, and is also one of the three only Japan Railways Group constituents of the Nikkei 225 index, the other being JR East and JR Central.
Japan Freight Railway Company, or JR Freight, is one of the seven constituent companies of Japan Railways Group. It provides transportation of cargo nationwide throughout Japan. Its headquarters are in Shibuya, Tokyo near Shinjuku Station.
The Tokyo Metro is a major rapid transit system in Tokyo, Japan. While it is not the only rapid transit system operating in Tokyo, it has the higher ridership among the two subway operators: in 2014, the Tokyo Metro had an average daily ridership of 6.84 million passengers, while the other system, the Toei Subway, had 2.85 million average daily rides. The company replaced the Teito Rapid Transit Authority, commonly known as Eidan or TRTA, on April 1, 2004.
Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd., commonly known as Odakyū, is a major railway company based in Tokyo, Japan, best known for its Romancecar series of limited express trains from Tokyo to Odawara, Enoshima, Tama New Town, and Hakone.
The Osaka Metro is a major rapid transit system in the Osaka Metropolitan Area of Japan. It serves the city of Osaka and the adjacent municipalities of Higashiosaka, Kadoma, Moriguchi, Sakai, Suita, and Yao. Osaka Metro forms an integral part of the extensive mass transit system of Greater Osaka, having 123 out of the 1,108 rail stations (2007) in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto region. In 2010, the greater Osaka region had 13 million rail passengers daily of which the Osaka Municipal Subway accounted for 2.29 million.
Japanese National Railways, abbreviated Kokutetsu (国鉄) or “JNR” , was the business entity that operated Japan's national railway network from 1949 to 1987.
The Tokyo subway is a part of the extensive rapid transit system that consists of Tokyo Metro and the Toei Subway in the Greater Tokyo area of Japan. While the subway system itself is largely within the city center, the lines extend far out via extensive through services onto suburban railway lines.
The Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company is a third-sector railway operating company in Japan. It was established on 15 March 1991 to construct the 58.3 km Tsukuba Express commuter railway line from Akihabara in Tokyo to Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture. The Tsukuba Express line was opened on 24 August 2005.
The Japan Railways Group, more commonly known as JR Group, consists of seven for-profit companies that took over most of the assets and operations of the government-owned Japanese National Railways on April 1, 1987. Most of the liability of the JNR was assumed by the JNR Settlement Corporation.
The Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. is a Japanese commuter railway and keiretsu holding company in the Greater Tokyo Area as well as an intercity and regional operator in the Kantō region. Excluding the Japan Railways Group companies, Tobu's 463.3 km rail system is the second longest in Japan after Kintetsu. It serves large portions of Saitama Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture and Tochigi Prefecture, as well as northern Tokyo and western Chiba Prefecture. The Tobu Railway Company is listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 index.
The New Shuttle is a manually driven rubber-tyred people mover system in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, operated by Saitama New Urban Transit Co., Ltd..
Rail transport in Japan is a major means of passenger transport, especially for mass and high-speed travel between major cities and for commuter transport in urban areas. It is used relatively little for freight transport, accounting for just 0.84% of goods movement. The privatised network is highly efficient, requiring few subsidies and running extremely punctually.
The JR Tōzai Line is one of several commuter rail lines and services in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Metropolitan Area, operated by West Japan Railway Company. The line, whose name literally means "east-west", runs underground through central Osaka and connects the Gakkentoshi Line at Kyobashi Station in Osaka and the JR Takarazuka Line and the JR Kobe Line at Amagasaki. All stations on this line are in the city of Osaka, except for the western terminus in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture.
The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd., also known as Kinkisharyo, is a Japanese manufacturer of railroad vehicles based in Osaka. It is an affiliate company of Kintetsu Corporation. In business since 1920 and renamed The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd in 1945. They have produced light rail vehicles used by a number of transportation agencies. Kinki Sharyo is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as TYO: 7122
The Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, JRTT, is an Independent Administrative Institution created by an Act of the National Diet, effective October 1, 2003. JRTT was founded by integrating the Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation (JRCC) and the Corporation for Advanced Transport and Technology (CATT).
Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC) is a manufacturer of heavy rail cars in Japan, formerly known as Tokyu Car Corporation. The company is based in Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, and a member of East Japan Railway Company group. J-TREC manufactures rail vehicles not only for JR East and Tokyu Corporation but for other Japanese operators, including various Japan Railways Group companies and international operators as well.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company is the rolling stock production division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Since beginning operations in 1906, the company has produced more than 90,000 railroad cars.
Semboku Rapid Railway Co.,Ltd. is a company managing the commercial distribution center and the Semboku Rapid Railway in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was formerly known as third-sector company Osaka Prefectural Urban Development Co., Ltd. until June 30, 2014. Osaka Prefectural Urban Development and its subsidiary company were called the OTK Group together.
The Aichi Loop Line is a Japanese railway line connecting Okazaki Station in Okazaki and Kōzōji Station in Kasugai, operated by the Aichi Loop Railway. The company or the line is abbreviated as Aikan (愛環). This is the only line the company operates. Despite its name, the line is not a true loop, but a north-south line situated east of Nagoya, which can be considered as an unclosed loop.
Kitakinki Tango Railway Corporation was a railway operator in Japan. The company's name, which consists of "Kitakinki" meaning northern Kinki region and "Tango" meaning Tango Province, is occasionally abbreviated as KTR.