Japan Railway Engineers’ Association (JREA) Overview

1. Date of Inauguration

August 9, 1947

2. Purpose

To contribute to the development and advancement of railway technology through close collaboration and cooperation among members and to enhance the techniques and skills of members.

3. Scope of Activities

(1) Conduct research to develop and advance railway technology
(2) Collect and research information on railway technology
(3) Conduct research to improve the efficiency of railway operation
(4) Conduct studies to train and utilize railway engineers and technicians
(5) Publish technology magazines and books
(6) Organize seminars, exhibitions, workshops, discussion groups, etc.
(7) Conduct other activities deemed necessary for achieving the purpose of JREA

4. Representative

Chairman: Yasuo HAYASHI

5. Organization

Headquarters: Kameido, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Branches: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chubu(Nagoya), Kansai, Shikoku, and Kyushu
Special Committee: Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics

6. JREA Publications

JREA (monthly), Japanese Railway Engineering (English,semiyearly), and Cybernetics (quarterly)

7. Membership

JREA is a public corporation under the supervision of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Its general members consist of individuals employed by railway operators including the JR Group companies, other public and private railways, and subways; Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency; academic and research institutions such as universities and the Railway Technical Research Institute, and core engineers working for railway-related construction, manufacturing, and maintenance companies. Corporate members are companies and organizations that employ the above-mentioned individual members.

Membership Type As of March 31.2016 As of March 31.2017 Year End Comparison
1.General member (person) 5,277 5,100 △177
2.Corporate member (Company) (Unit) 404
3.Honorary member 8 9 1
4.Special member (Group) Japan Society of Civil Engineers, The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, and The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Japan Society of Civil Engineers, The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, and The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers 0
5.Cybernetics member (Company) 207 206 △1

8. History


1947 – February JREA was established with the objectives to restore railways, improve technology, and raise the morale of technical personnel. It received approval for incorporation in August of the same year. Every month, it distributed the JREA News and JREA-edited Transportation Technology (published by the Transport Cooperative Organization) to its members.
1958 – April JREA, the publication of which has continued until today, was first launched to replace the JREA News and Transportation Technology.
1958 – December The Overseas Railways Technological Research Workshop was set up to compare and study railway technologies. It has been offering seminars on the technological development of overseas railways.
1959 – July Launched the English magazine Japanese Railway Engineering to introduce Japanese railway technology to the world and to continue exchanges with overseas technology magazines.
1962 – February Started conferring the JREA Award to the best article of the year published in JREA.
1963 – April Established the Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics in response to UIC’s call in the railway cybernetics symposium. JREA has been serving as the Congress’ executive office and has hosted symposium every year.
1966 – January Hosted the “High-speed Railway Seminar” to commemorate conferment of the Asahi Newspaper Culture Award (500,000 yen) by Chairman Shima and shinkansen groups. The seminar has been held annually since.
1971 – April Started receiving consignment of aid programs from the Nippon Foundation.
1979 – June Dispatched technology research teams to Europe. Teams have been sent as necessary.
1985 – May Incorporated the Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics as a JREA committee.
1989 – September Established the DS (Deep Subway) Study Group in JREA to conduct studies on various issues relating to large station sections and deep underground subways and to develop pertinent software and hardware technology.
1991 – March Completed the “DS Study Group.”
1992 – September In response to the Shigaraki Kogen Railway accident that took place in May 1991, JREA offered a government-subsidized (by the Railway Development Fund of the former Ministry of Transport) “Educational Program on Safety Measures for Railway Employees,” with the cooperation of five organizations specializing in railway facilities, rolling stock and equipment, electricity, and operation, to the employees of 53 companies, including public-private railways, medium and small private railways, etc.
1998 – March Completed the government-subsidized “Educational Program on Safety Measures for Railway Employees.”
2005 – October Established the independent study group “General Safety Research Study.”
2006 – July Launched the “Technology Seminar” series on the development of new technology.
2007 – February Appointed as the sub-working group executive office of the ISO/TC204/WG8 “Interoperable Fare Management System”
2007 – August Conducted the commemorative activity in the 60th anniversary of JREA.
2008 – March Started conferring the Japan Railway Engineer’s Associatin SAKATA memorial Award to the best articl of the year published in JREA, Japanese Raiway Engineering, Collection of Technical Papers on the Application of Cybenetics to Railways and Cybenetics.
2008 – May Published a book titled “the Railway systems of Japan Coming after 20 Years” as a commemorative activity in the 60th anniversary of JREA.

9. Activities

(1) JREA Activities

○ JREA Magazine

JREA is a monthly magazine distributed to members. Its editorial committee is made up of members selected from the technical and engineering departments of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency; Railway Technical Research Institute; railway operators; and various industries. Besides publishing articles that cover all areas related to the technological development, research, and operation of railways, the magazine also publishes essays written by members.

○ English Magazine Japanese Railway Engineering

The English magazine Japanese Railway Engineering is a quarterly publication that introduces the Japanese railway technology to countries overseas. Because JREA exchanges this publication with railway engineering magazines in foreign countries, it also serves the function of information exchange with other countries.

○ Seminars and Tours

To provide information to members and to facilitate exchanges of knowledge, JREA has offered seminars including the “High-speed Railway Seminar,” “Ordinary General Meeting Special Seminar,” “Overseas Railways Technological Research Workshop Seminar,” as well as the “Technology Seminar” started in FY2006 to present the latest trend in technology. Tours are also organized to give members the opportunity to visit sites currently being discussed. Either a seminar or a tour is held each month.

○ Research and Studies

JREA accepts consignment of research projects from various companies and organizes committees made up of experts from the academic community, businesses, and industries to conduct research on each issue.

It has also organized an independent “General Safety Research Study” to examine issues pertaining to railway safety and reliable transportation.

○ Dispatch of Investigation Teams to Overseas Railways for Technological Exchanges

  • Approximately once a year, JREA selects a new project undertaken by an overseas railway and dispatches an investigation team there to conduct a fact-finding study. At the same time, the team also introduces Japanese topics to the overseas railway.
  • (2) Special Committee ? Activities of the Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics

○ History for the Establishment of the Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics

  •  The February 1962 UIC (International Union of Railway) Executive Board meeting decided on holding the “International Symposium on Cybernetics for Railways” in November 1963 as a UIC Forum Event.
  • In February 1963, the Chief Executive of UIC, Luis Armand, invited JREA to attend the November 1963 symposium as well as chair the symposium’s fifth division (processing information and establishing a technical facility for transmission and a calculation center).
  • Because no organization in Japan met the need of the UIC forum, the Japanese National Railways, The Oki Group, Toshiba, NEC Corporation, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation jointly launched the Congress of Japan Railway Cybernetics on April 22, 1963.
  • The Congress was incorporated into the Japan Railway Engineers’ Association in May 1985 and became a special committee of JREA until today.

○ The Congress’ activities are carried out mainly under the following four committees:

  • Symposium Committee
    A symposium has been held annually since the Congress’ establishment in 1963 to provide a venue for members to exchange information on technology and to present research results.
  • Investigation and Research Committee
    The Committee identifies issues facing railways and carries out investigation and research.
  • Ticket Issuing and Checking System Committee
    The Committee formulates and updates the “Cybernetics Standard” as an industrial standard for Japan’s ticket issuing and checking systems.
  • Editorial Committee
    The Committee edits and publishes the quarterly Cybernetics magazine.