The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR 413 and 717 series

413 series on Hokuriku Main Line

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Extinct 
 (JR East, JR West,
  JR Kyushu)
 Critically Endangered 
  Echigo Tokimeki)
Constructed in: 1962-65, 1970
Rebuilt in: 1986-89, 1995
Number rebuilt: 31 (413 series)
46 (717 series)
Registered: 8 (413 series)
0 (717 series)


The 413 and 717 series are a type of suburban train rebuilt from 451, 453, 457, 471, 473 and 475 series. The 413 series trains are dual-voltage, while the 717 series were compatible only with AC 20 kV electricity. Japanese National Railways introduced them to Sendai, Kanazawa areas and Kyushu, to provide stopping services more frequently and flexibly. JNR envisaged that service improvement could be carried out with brand new trains, but huge deficit did not allow it. Instead, JNR reused traction and bogies of old, redundant express trains aforementioned.

The 413 series unit consists of three coaches, while the 717 series unit was two or three. Each carriage has two sets of doors with transverse seating, and contributed to ease congestion during rush hours. They could form up to nine coaches when three three-carriage units were combined.

The 413 series trains were allocated to Kanazawa and mostly used on Hokuriku Main Line. JR West succeeded all units when JNR was privatised in 1987. When the Line was taken over by Ainokaze Toyama Railway in 2015 (when Hokuriku Shinkansen was opened), many of them were transferred to the Railway. Both JR West withdrew all 413 series units by 2021, and Ainokaze Toyama Railway is to follow. Echigo Tokimeki Railway purchased three carriages from JR West, and two of them have been in service since 2021.

The 717 series were introduced to Sendai, Oita and Kagoshima areas. Those in Kyushu consisted of two coaches, as three-car unit was too much for stopping services in the areas. JR East and JR Kyushu took them over following the privatisation. Those owned by JR East were demolished by 2008, and JR Kyushu's units were taken out of service by 2013.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Ainokaze Toyama Railway has two three-carriage units, and one of them is for rail tours (which is called The Story of 13000 Feet). They were due to be replaced with 521 series by financial year 2022, but it has been deferred.

Echigo Tokimeki Railway uses two carriages, and it forms three coaches with one 475 series carriage. The unit is mostly used on Express services for tourists at weekends and on holidays. The company initially planned to withdraw it by the early-2023, but a major overhaul was carried out thanks to donation by enthusiasts, allowing it to run until around 2028 unless a fatal damage is observed.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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