Operates only the Ibara Line, a 41Km-long sinbgle-tracked, non-electrified line connecting Soja station in Okayama Prefecture to Kannabe station in Hiroshima Prefecture. JNR began the construction of the Ibara line in 1966, but due to a serious lack of funds, it was suspended in 1980. Construction resumed in 1986 under the new Ibara Railway third-sector company, and the line finally opened in 1999.
Operates the Nishikigawa Seiryu Line, a 32.7Km-long, non-electrified and single-tracked line connecting Iwakuni Station on the San’yo Main Line to Nishikicho Station, wich it inherited from JNR in 1987.
The name of the railway (“Nishiki River Railway”) comes from the fact that the line completely parallels the Nishiki River.
Tosa Kuroshio Railway
A railway company managed by the Prefectural Government of Kochi in southern Shikoku, running a 112Km-long non-electrified network composed of three lines inherited from JNR, of wich two were left uncompleted by the national railways.
Asa Kaigan Railway
Operates the 8.5Km-long non-electrified and single-tracked Asato Line (sometimes also called the “Asa East Line”), wich is essentially a southwards extension of JR Shikoku’s Mugi Line. JNR had began the construction works on this line, wich was to connect with the western section of the Asa Line (today part of the Tosa Kuroshio Railway), but was forced to abandon the construction in 1980. In 1988, the Asa Kaigan took over construction works, and the line opened in 1992.
The Asa Kaigan Railway is Japan’s smallest independent railway company – it manages just three stations (of wich one jointly with JR Shikoku) and owns only two diesel railcars.
Nagasaki and Saga Prefectures
Operates the Nishi-Kyushu Line, a 93.8Km long, non-electrified and single-tracked line connecting Arita to Sasebo via Matsuura, wich it inherited in 1988.
The Nishi-Kyushu Line is the westernmost conventional railway line in Japan, with Tabira-Hiradoguchi being the westernmost conventional railway station. Besides this, the line is also famous for it’s particularily scenic route.
Inherited the Yunomae Line in 1989, a 24.8Km-long, non-electrified and single-tracked railway line from Hitoyoshi Station, where it branches off JR Kyushu’s Hisatsu Line to Yunomae Station.
The name of the railway (“Kuma River Railway”) comes from the fact that the line completely parallels the Kuma River.
Inherited the Takamori Line in 1986, a 17.7Km-long, non-electified and single-tracked railway line from Tateno Station, where it branches off JR Kyushu’s Hohi Main Line, to Takamori Station.
The line travels on the south side of Mount Aso’s caldera, and it was damaged in the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. The 9Km-long section from Tateno to Nakamatsu is still closed, awaiting repairs, as of 2020.