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381 Series

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Title: 381 Series  
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Subject: 117 series, 287 series, Tilting train, 485 series, 165 series
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381 Series

381 series
381 series image
A 381 series on a Mahoroba service in May 2010
In service 1973–Present
Manufacturer Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo
Replaced 183 series
Refurbishment 1997–2011 (JR West)
Number built 277 vehicles
Number in service 136 vehicles (as of 1 April 2015)
Number preserved 2 vehicles
Number scrapped 94 vehicles
Formation various
Operator(s) JNR (1973–1987)
JR Central (1987–2008)
JR West (1987–Present)
Depot(s) Hineno, Goto, Fukuchiyama
Car body construction Aluminium alloy
Car length 21,300 mm (69 ft 11 in)
Width 2,920 mm (9 ft 7 in)
Height 3,383 mm (11 ft 1.2 in)
Maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC
Current collection method Overhead wire
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 381 series (381系) is a tilting DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced in 1973 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and currently operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West), and formerly also operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) in Japan.[1]


As of 1 April 2015, 136 vehicles were operated by JR West.[2]


JR Central

JR West

  • Kuroshio (from October 1978 until 30 October 2015[3])
  • Yakumo
  • Kounotori (until 31 May 2011,[4] from 1 June 2012[5] until 30 October 2015[6])
  • Kinosaki (from 1 June 2012[5] until 30 October 2015[6])
  • Hashidate (from 16 March 2013 until 30 October 2015[6])
  • Hanwa Liner rapid service (until March 2011)
  • Yamatoji Liner rapid service (until March 2011)

Livery variations


The 381 series EMU was developed from the experimental 591 series 3-car articulated tilting EMU tested from 1970.[7]

The 381 series entered revenue service from 10 July 1973 on the Shinano limited express between Nagoya and Nagano.[7]

JR West 381 series trains were removed from Kuroshio, Kounotori, Kinosaki, and Hashidate limited express services in October 2015, with the last services operating on 30 October.[6]

Preserved examples

Preserved KuHa 381-1 at the SCMaglev and Railway Park, April 2011
  • KuHa 381-1: (built 1973 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries) SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya[8]
  • KuRo 381-11: (built 1974 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries) SCMaglev and Railway Park, Nagoya[8]


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