The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR Hokkaido KiHa 261 series

The original livery

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1998-2001, 2006-22
Number built: 178
Registered: 178


The KiHa 261 series is the most numerous limited express type DMU among all six JR companies. The series was developed as a tilting train, based on KiHa 201 series. First built in 1998, the series has been widely used across the northern island of Hokkaido, replacing various limited express trains especially JNR KiHa 183 series.

The KiHa 261 series trains were introduced first to Limited Express Super Soya (Sapporo - Wakkanai), raising the maximum speed of the service from 95 km/h (59 mph) to 130 km/h (81 mph). More trains were introduced to other intercity services such as Limited Express Super Tokachi (Sapporo - Obihiro). Some of them were repainted white with purple bands. In 2020, two five-carriage units of "multi-purpose trains", which can be used for both regular passenger train and rail tour, were delivered.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The KiHa 261 series are used for Limited Express Soya (Sapporo - Wakkanai), Sarobetsu (Asahikawa - Wakkanai), Ōzora (Sapporo - Kushiro via Obihiro), Tokachi (Sapporo - Obihiro), Hokuto (Sapporo - Hakodate), as well as Home Liner (Sapporo - Teine).

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

←The List of JR Trains