The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR Hokkaido 785 series

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Critically Endangered 
Constructed in: 1990, 2001-02
Number built: 37
Registered: 10


The 785 series was introduced by JR Hokkaido to Limited Express Super White Arrow (Sapporo - Asahikawa, later renamed Super Kamui), in advance of a motorway being opened between these two major cities. It was also introduced to Rapid Airport that connects Sapporo and New Chitose Airport, and Limited Express Suzuran (Sapporo - Muroran). In 2010, two redundant coaches were converted to a spare unit for 789 series of Limited Express Super Hakucho (Aomori - Hakodate), running the Seikan Tunnel.

As the new bullet train line replaced Super Hakucho in 2016 and 789 series trains were transferred to Sapporo area, the 785 series units have mostly been withdrawn.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

Two five-car units are used for Limited Express Suzuran. Despite JR Hokkaido announced that the 785 series units would retire by 2019, they are still operational presumably because of lack of funding to introduce new trains. However, due to low ridership of Suzuran triggered by JR Hokkaido's significant fare rises, the series could be taken out of service within a few months.


The spare unit for Super Hakucho, converted to be compatible with the 789 series. Only one two-car unit existed.

Frankly, it looked very strange as if something had gone spectacularly wrong.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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