The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR Hokkaido KiHa 201 series

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1996
Number built: 12
Registered: 12


The KiHa 201 series is a commuter DMU type of JR Hokkaido. At that time, JR Hokkaido was planning to replace slow and inefficient coaching stock on Hakodate Main Line with new electric trains, but the company also had to deal with commuters from stations beyond Otaru, where the line is not electrified. Therefore, the company developed the new diesel train that can run and accelerate as fast as EMUs.

They can form six coaches with 731 series, and it is the only case in Japan today that diesel and electric multiple units are coupled. However, as the KiHa 201 series was too expensive to build and too powerful for other services in rural areas, only four three-car units were introduced.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The KiHa 201 series are used on Hakodate Main Line (between Rankoshi and Ebetsu via Otaru and Sapporo). A few services during peak hours are formed of six coaches with the 731 series.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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