Railway - the First
The first railway to go into operation was a line linking Shinbashi and Yokohama, which was inaugurated in 1872, followed in 1874 and 1877 by the respective opening of Osaka-Kobe and Osaka-Kyoto services. The government's financial resources, however, were insufficient to allow the construction of railways nationwide, and it was not until 1889 that the Tokaido mainline was completed, linking Shinbashi and Kobe. This financial shortage prompted the government to sanction the construction of railways by the private sector, which led to the birth of such major private railways as Nippon Railway (Ueno - Aomori),Sanyo Railway (Kobe-Shimonoseki), and Kansai Railway (Minatomachi-Nagoya), among others. Dynamically administered, these private railways played a significant role in the modernization of Japan. Such energetically managed private concerns included Sanyo Railway, who firstran a dining car, Kansai Railway, who vied for passengers with the Tokaido mainline on the Osaka-Nagoya stretch, and other enterprising private railways.