The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR Class ED76

Data (as of 31 Mar 2024)

Status:  Critically Endangered 
 (JR Freight)
 (JR Hokkaido, JR Kyushu)
Constructed in: 1965-79
Number built: 139
Registered: 8


The Class ED76 is a type of electric locomotive compatible with AC 20 kV electricity, developed by Japanese National Railways. It was first introduced to Kyushu when electrification of railway network in the island extended further so that it is still regarded as a standard locomotive in the region. There are three groups: variants 0, 500 and 1000.

The variant 0 was built in 1965-76 and 94 locos were introduced to Kyushu. They had a steam generator, as coaching stock at that time was optimised for steam locomotives. The variant 500 was introduced to Hokkaido in 1968-69, with 22 locos in total. They were totally different from the variant 0, but JNR did not treat them as a different type, because introducing a new type would be extremely troublesome when negotiating with trade unions. The variant 1000 was introduced to Kyushu again in 1970-79, with 23 locos in total. They look identical to the variant 0, but the variant 1000 locos have enhanced braking systems for faster trains.

The Class ED76s were mainly used for stopping services and parcel trains in Kyushu, while those in Hokkaido were allocated to both passenger and freight trains as well. However, they became redundant by the 1980s due to the downsizing of JNR. When JNR was privatised in 1987, 77 locos were distributed to JR Hokkaido, JR Kyushu and JR Freight.

JR Hokkaido used variant-500 locos on Hakodate Main Line including Express services, but soon replaced with 721 series, and all except one were withdrawn by 1994. One of them was converted to be compatible with Seikan Tunnel (variant 550) and designated as a spare loco of Class ED79, then scrapped in 2001.

JR Kyushu had been used variant-0 locos for sleeper limited express trains and other rail tours, but all of them were withdrawn by 2012 as all coaching stock retired. Some locos were resold to JR Freight.

JR Freight has been using both variant-0 and 1000 locos on various lines in Kyushu. Since they only haul freight trains, a steam generator on variant-0 locos has been removed.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Currently, a variant-0 locos and seven variant-1000 locos are in service. They are allocated to Moji Depot in Fukuoka Prefecture and run towards Kagoshima Prefecture. JR Freight has been introducing Class EF510 to the area since 2023, replacing both Class ED76 and EF81 by 2025



Static display in Otaru. Those in Hokkaido looked quite different from the others in Kyushu.

(Updated: 31 Mar 2024)

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