The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR 105 series

At Hiroshima station (ex-103 series unit)

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Vulnerable  (JR West)
 Extinct  (JR East)
Constructed in: 1981 (3-door)
1964-71 (4-door)
Rebuilt in: 1984, 90 (4-door)
Number built: 60 (3-door)
Number rebuilt: 66 (4-door as 103 series)
Registered: 32 (3-door only)


The 105 series is a type of commuter train, and can be classified into two groups, those built from scratch (three-door group) and others converted from 103 series (four-door group). Both groups were introduced to rural lines where obsolete trains built in the 1930-50s were in use.

Japanese National Railways introduced the 105 series to Fukuen, Onoda and Ube Lines. They have three sets of doors per carriage with longitudinal seating. They were initially formed of four coaches, but they were too long so that all intermediate carriages were converted to front carriages by 1985, allowing all units to form two coaches.

However, JNR soon realised a lack of funding so that it had to give up ordering new trains. Instead, JNR converted redundant 103 series carriages to the 105 series, and introduced them to Kabe, Kisei Main, Nara and Wakayama Lines. They had four sets of doors unlike those built from scratch.

When JNR was privatised in 1987, the 105 series were inherited to JR East and JR West. JR East used two two-car units of four-door group on Senseki Line, but they were withdrawn by 1998. They were reused for training purposes for ten more years.

JR West had been using 121 carriages and many of them were refurbished and converted to be compatible with driver-only operation. They were also used on Ako, Hakubi, Kure, Sakurai and Uno Lines. Those in Hiroshima and Wakayama areas were replaced with 227 series in 2016-21, and all four-door units retired by then.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Only three-door trains remain operational. Those in Okayama are used for stopping services on Fukuen Line between Fukuyama and Fuchu with a handful services between Fukuyama and Okayama on San-yo Main Line. Those in Shimonoseki are used for Onoda and Ube Lines with limited services towards Shimonoseki on San-yo Main Line, and in some cases the 105 series joins to 123 series.

Remaining units are more than 40 years old so that they are likely to be withdrawn by the late-2020s.


Hiroshima had so many 105 series units until the mid-2010s.

A unit in Okayama before blue bands were erased.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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