Railways were introduced by countries as a means of modernization and industrial
advancement. However, railways as a transport mode require large capital investment. And
building railways as industrial domestic products requires industrialization in broad areas,
such as rolling stock and rail manufacturing, as well as much time. So, countries other than
the UK, where railways were invented, progressed by importing from other countries with
advanced railways that already had railway industries in place. There are no examples where
railways have been built after domestic production of railway products was fully completed,
and railways have advanced as a means of transport in many countries without much domestic
production of such products. This scheme remains in place today, so few countries export
railway products, although railways have advanced in many countries. The same applies to
aircraft and automobiles, where there is fierce competition among a select few.
At the same time, railways are social infrastructure requiring large funding, and they are
greatly influenced by social backgrounds, such as people’s way of living and industry along
with the natural environment, including the country’s climate and topography. Solutions to
railway-related issues are inseparable from the politics of the country, so a deep understanding
of the country’s society and land is imperative.
Unlike aircraft and automobiles, railways cannot be adapted for uses other than transport.
Entering overseas markets without keeping this in mind is reckless, and success cannot be
expected in such cases. It is vital to understand all the factors in a country needing railways,
such as its politics, economy, culture, geography, and nature. And at the same time, we must
have the passion and magnanimity to look objectively at our own country and company and
at our own abilities.