Hokkaido rail service talks expected to focus on cost sharing


Sapporo, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)–Hokkaido Railway Co., or JR Hokkaido, will soon begin full-fledged consultations with relevant municipal governments on what to do with eight loss-making railway sections in the northernmost prefecture. .

The rail operator intends to keep the trains on the sections if the municipal governments involved agree to bear part of the costs to do so.

Upcoming talks are expected to focus on how to divide the costs between JR Hokkaido and municipal governments, informed sources said, adding that it would not be easy to reach an agreement as these municipalities are also financially strapped. .

The struggling railway company has been ordered by the central government to come up with drastic measures to improve its business by fiscal year 2023.

There were already concerns about the company’s financial viability when it was born out of the privatization of Japan’s National Railways in 1987, as railcar maintenance costs are higher in the snowy, cold prefecture.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press

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