The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR KiHa 37 series

The original livery (front one)

Data (as of 31 Mar 2024)

Status:  Extinct 
 (JR East, JR West)
 Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1983
Number built: 5
Registered: 3


The KiHa 37 series is a type of diesel multiple unit. Japanese National Railways introduced KiHa 40 series in 1977, but it was not always successful. JNR developed the KiHa 37 series with improvement and decided to install equipment at a minimum level, and to add other features when necessary (e.g. heaters for cold areas). It was designed as a commuter train type so that there is longitudinal seating, but transverse seating could easily be installed.

However, only five carriages were built in total since, considerable number of unprofitable lines were permanently closed in the 1980s and redundant KiHa 28 series were reallocated to remaining rural lines. Three carriages were introduced to Chiba Prefecture and two carriages were introduced to Kakogawa area in Hyogo Prefecture.

Following the privatisation of JNR, JR East and JR West succeeded them. JR East used them on Kihara Line (now Isumi Railway) until 1988 and Kururi Line until 2012. JR West operated them in Kakogawa area until 1999 and later reallocated to Tottori Prefecture, but they were taken out of service in 2003.

Mizushima Rinkai Railway has been using the KiHa 37 series since 2014 after purchasing them from JR East. In 2021, one of three carriages was restored to the original livery. It is painted red, slightly different from the KiHa 40 series.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Three carriages are used by Mizushima Rinkai Railway during rush hours on weekdays along with KiHa 35 series and KiHa 38 series.


Two carriages used by Mizushima Rinkai Railway are painted blue.

A Kururi Line train.

(Updated: 31 Mar 2024)

←The List of JR Trains

←The List of Other Railways