The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR Kyushu KiHa 200 series

The yellow livery

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1991-2009
Number built: 66
Registered: 64


KiHa 200 series is a type of diesel multiple units for regional services in Kyushu. It was designed for rural lines across the island, replacing KiHa 58 series and loco-hauled trains. The series consists of two types: KiHa 200 (which can be formed of two or more coaches) and KiHa 220 (double-headed). Each carriage has three sets of doors.

The KiHa 200 series is totally different from older diesel trains developed by Japanese National Railways so that it cannot be joined to such rolling stock including KiHa 40 series. The KiHa 200 series also has powerful engines and new transmissions which allow it running faster. Seats are based on 811 series but some KiHa 200 series trains have longitudinal seating.

The KiHa 200 was first introduced to Chikuho Main and Sasaguri Lines in 1991, then more carriages were delivered to Ibusuki-Makurazaki Line in the following year. The first KiHa 220 was introduced to Hohi Main Line (Kumamoto area), and both types were later delivered to Kashii Line as well. Those on Chikuho Main and Sasaguri Lines were replaced with 813 series when these two lines were electrified and renamed to Fukuhoku Yutaka Line, and the diesel trains were reallocated to Kagoshima, Nagasaki and Oita areas. Those in Nagasaki area was replaced with YC 1 series by 2021.

In addition, a KiHa 220 was converted to a measurement train called BE 220 BIG EYE in 2023. This train was fatally damaged at Hitoyoshi station when it was inundated during severe torrential rain in 2020. Hence, the company gave up reinstating it and remodelled for non-passenger use instead.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The KiHa 200 and 220 trains are mainly used on Hohi Main, Kyudai Main, Hisatsu, Misumi and Ibusuki-Makurazaki Lines. Originally, the series has been painted red, but those in Kagoshima are yellow and others in Nagasaki were blue. The BIG EYE is due to engage in maintenance work on the entire network.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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