The Red List of Trains in Japan

JNR KiHa 38 series

The KiHa 38 on Kururi Line

Data (as of 12 Jan 2024)

Status:  Extinct 
 (JR East)
 Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1965-66
Rebuilt in: 1986-87
Number rebuilt: 7
Registered: 1


The KiHa 38 series is a commuter-train-type diesel multiple unit rebuilt from KiHa 35 series. At that time, Japanese National Railways had many KiHa 35 series carriages without air-conditioning, but introducing brand new trains was so expensive that JNR decided to rebuild some of them. Upon remodelling, JNR used bogies and transmissions reused from the KiHa 35s with brand new engines and bodies.

The KiHa 38 series was initially used on Hachiko Line, but they were reallocated to Kururi Line in 1996 when Hachiko Line was partly electrified. They were withdrawn in 2012 as brand new KiHa E130 series was introduced. One of them was purchased by Mizushima Rinkai Railway, while five of them were exported to Myanmar.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Mizushima Rinkai Railway refurbished and uses it at peak times on weekdays along with KiHa 35 series and KiHa 37 series.


The original livery (restored by Mizushima Rinkai Railway in 2022).

(Updated: 12 Jan 2024)

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