The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR East KiHa 100 and 110 series

At Ishinomaki station

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Near Threatened 
Constructed in: 1990-99
Number built: 279
Registered: 274


KiHa 100 series is a suburban diesel train type for rural lines. They are often classified as KiHa 100 series in a narrow sense (double-ended with 16 or 17-metre-long body) and KiHa 110 series (20-metre long body forming two-carriage unit). They replaced old diesel trains like KiHa 20 series, and made journey times shorter than before. The KiHa 100 series was welcomed by local residents at the time of introduction, as all carriages are air-conditioned.

The KiHa 100 series has been used mostly on stopping services, but they were used for a few express and even limited express in the past. The KiHa 110 series was first introduced on Express Rikuchu (Morioka - Miyako via Kamaishi Line), and also used on Limited Express Akita Relay (Kitakami - Akita via Kitakami Line) when Tazawako Line was closed due to track improvement work in 1996-97. Other carriages were introduced to various rural lines from Aomori to Saitama Prefectures. However, those on Suigun Line were superseded by KiHa E130 series, since the KiHa 100 series could not deal with severe congestion.

They can join to KiHa E120 series carriages and the KiHa E130 series. However, since those newer trains were reallocated to different places, they no longer join to each other.

Some redundant carriages were converted to tourist trains, such as Oikotto (Iiyama Line), POKÉMON with YOU (Ofunato Line) and Tohoku Emotion (Hachinohe Line).

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The KiHa 100 series are used across Tohoku region including Aterazawa, Ban-etsu East / West, Hachiko, Ishinomaki, Kamaishi, Kesennuma, Kitakami, Koumi, Ofunato, Ominato, Rikuu East / West and Tadami Lines. Some run major lines like Shin-etsu Main and Tohoku Main Lines. In many cases, services provided by the series are drive-only.

A trade union has been urging since the mid-2010s to replace the KiHa 100 series from the mid-2020s. Since not a few carriages are more than 30 years old, replacement is likely to take place within years.


Komagawa station in Saitama Prefecture is the closest place to Tokyo to see the KiHa 110 series.

Some units in Tohoku region are painted differently.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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