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JR Group (1987 – today)
The JR Group is formed by the seven “JR” companies (six regional passenger railways and one nationwide freight company), born with the privatisation of the National Railways (JNR) in 1987.
It runs most of the passenger and all of the freight and high-speed services in Japan.
Japanese National Railways (1949 – 1987)
The beloved defunct national railway company of Japan, it was formed with the reorganisation of the Japanese Government Railways in 1949.
It witnessed the postwar reconstruction and the optimism of the japanese economic miracle, wich was simbolized by the inauguration of the Shinkansen, world’s first high-speed railway, before eventually succumbing to a 27 trillion yen debt.
In an attempt to save it’s finances, the Japanese Government privatized JNR in 1987, forming today’s JR Group.
Japanese Government Railways (1906-1949) and preceeding companies (1872-1906)
Formed with the 1906 nationalisation of several important railway companies, the JGR was a direct entity of the Ministry of Railways (later Ministry of Transport).
After the devastation of the 2nd world war, the Japanese Government Railways were reorganized into the Japanese National Railways pubblic company.