The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR 213 series

The original livery (JR West)

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Endangered 
 (JR Central)
 Least Concern 
 (JR West)
Constructed in: 1987-91
Number built: 57
Registered: 56


The 213 series is a type of suburban train, and the last train that Japanese National Railways developed. It looks like 211 series, but the 213 series have two sets of doors per carriage with transverse seating. JNR introduced three-carriage units to Okayama area, a year before Honshi-Bisan Line (Great Seto Bridge) was opened. JR Central introduced two-car units to Kansai Main Line.

Those in Okayama were initially formed of nine (combining three units) or twelve coaches (four units) and used on stopping services in the area, replacing some 115 series. In 1988, JR West introduced five Green Cars (first class) and the series entered Rapid Marine Liner service (Okayama - Takamatsu via Great Seto Bridge). However, their traction was damaged by salinity so that JR West replaced them with 223 series in 2003. The company rearranged them to two or three-car units with standard class coaches only and reallocated to stopping services in Okayama Prefecture, while all Green Cars were disposed of. Two redundant coaches were converted to an experiment train U@tech, which were deregistered in 2019. In 2016, a two-car unit was converted to a specific train for tourists, named La Malle de Bois.

Meanwhile, JR Central initially used the 213 series on Kansai Main Line. They were superseded by 313 series by 2011, and the company refurbished and reallocated them to Iida Line. Those owned by JR Central have green and orange stripes (Shonan Livery) just like the 211 series.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

JR West's 213 series were refurbished in 2012-15 and now used on Ako, Hakubi, San-yo Main and Uno Lines, as well as Honshi-Bisan Line as far as Kojima. They never enter the island of Shikoku today except La Malle de Bois. Since the 213 series is the newest rolling stock in the area (despite more than 30 years old), they are likely to be in service until the late-2020s or even 2030s.

JR Central uses the series on the entire Iida Line and Chuo Main Line between Tatsuno and Chino. They are scheduled to be replaced with brand new 315 series by 2026.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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