The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR West 283 series Ocean Arrow

The blunt end

Data (as of 31 Mar 2024)

Status:  Vulnerable 
Constructed in: 1996
Number built: 18
Registered: 18


The 283 series Ocean Arrow is a type of limited express train for Hanwa and Kisei Main Lines. Trains from Kyoto and Osaka areas to Wakayama Prefecture had been served by 381 series, but JR West considered that more attractive train was necessary as their business could potentially be devastated by new motorways and bus services. Thus, the company developed the 283 series for tourists, modelled after a dolphin.

The 283 series carriages have tilting features to allow higher speed at tight curves. The maximum speed is 130 km/h (81 mph), though restricted to 100 km/h (62 mph) on Kisei Main Line. There are two six-carriage units and two three-car units and they could be formed of nine coaches. When there is a lack of six-car unit due to unexpected repair work, two three-car units form six coaches as a stopgap.

They entered into Limited Express Super Kuroshio services (Kyoto - Shingu) in 1996, which were renamed Ocean Arrow in the following year. They were renamed again to simple Kuroshio in 2012.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The 283 series has been used for some Limited Express Kuroshio (Kyoto - Shingu). Trains served by the 283 series are still marked as "Ocean Arrow Train", and can be easily distinguished from those served by 287 series and 289 series.

JR West was planning to replace them with new trains in the mid-2020s, but it has been put off due to COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, they could be withdrawn following further reintroduction of the 289 series in around 2024-25.



(I haven't taken a photo of the sharp end...what a shame!)

(Updated: 31 Mar 2024)

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