The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR West 683 and 289 series

The 683 series (sharp end)

Data (as of 31 Mar 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 2001-11
Number built: 270
Registered: 189 (683 series), 79 (289 series)


The 683 series and 289 series are types of limited express train. The 683 series is dual-voltage, and introduced to Hokuriku Main Line to replace all 485 series. In 2015, some redundant trainsets were converted to be compatible with DC 1.5 kV only, renamed 289 series and reallocated to Kansai region.

The 683 series is based on 681 series, and capable of running at 160 km/h (100 mph). A 683 series unit can be joined to a 681 series unit to form nine or twelve coaches. They were introduced to several Limited Express services, mostly on Shirasagi (Nagoya - Kanazawa) and Thunderbird (Osaka - Kanazawa and Toyama). Hokuetsu Express also introduced nine carriages to Limited Express Hakutaka (Kanazawa - Echigo-Yuzawa).

When Hokuriku Shinkansen was extended to Kanazawa in 2015, Hokuetsu Express resold the trainset to JR West. JR West converted some of them to 289 series, and reallocated to Limited Express services in Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Wakayama Prefectures, replacing 381 series. The 289 series looks almost unchanged when compared to the 683 series, except for colours of bands. In 2019, six 289 series carriages were restored to the 683 series and went back to Hokuriku Main Line.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The 683 series trains are used for almost all Thunderbird (Osaka - Tsuruga) services. In addition, they engage in Dinostar (Fukui - Kanazawa), Noto Kagaribi (Kanazawa - Wakuraonsen), Shirasagi (Nagoya - Tsuruga), Thunderbird (Osaka - Tsuruga) and Rakuraku Biwako along with 681 series. Several units of the 683 series will be redundant as Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended in 2024 so that some of them might be converted further to 289 series.

The 289 series are used for Limited Express Hashidate (Kyoto - Amanohashidate), Kinosaki (Kyoto - Kinosakionsen) and Konotori (Shin-Osaka - Kinosakionsen), as well as Kuroshio (Shin-Osaka - Shingu). Furthermore, Rakuraku Harima (Kyoto - Aboshi) and Rakuraku Yamato (Shin-Osaka - Nara) are also provided by the 289 series.



The blunt end of the 683 series.


The sharp end. Those owned by Hokuetsu Express were painted red.

(Updated: 31 Mar 2024)

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