The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR West KiHa 120 series

A KiHa 120 train in Okayama area.

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 1992-96
Number built: 89
Registered: 88


This article is about JR West KiHa 120 series. Do not be confused with JR East KiHa E120 series.

The KiHa 120 series of JR West is a suburban diesel train type for rural areas, replacing old and inefficient trains such as KiHa 20 series, KiHa 35 series and KiHa 58 series. The KiHa 120 series is double-ended and compatible with driver-only operation, lighter than predecessors to minimise the impact on tracks, consisted of many bus components. However, it is not regarded as a railbus.

89 carriages were introduced to Hokuriku area, Mie Prefecture and Chugoku Region, and 67 of them have transverse seating. None of them had a toilet, but discontent with it prompted local assemblies and governments to adopt resolutions regarding improvement of train services, and JR West reluctantly installed toilets on all carriages by 2007.

Despite being old, JR West is carrying out major refurbishment work on all existing carriages.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The KiHa 120 series are used on various rural lines as follows: Kansai Main Line (Kameyama - Kamo), Etsumi-Hoku Line, Takayama Main Line (Toyama - Inotani), Oito Line (Itoigawa - Minami-Otari), Kisuki Line, San-in Main Line (Tottori, Shimane and Yamaguchi Prefectures), and almost on the entire non-electrified lines in Okayama and Hiroshima Prefectures.



A stopping service on Takayama Main Line (Toyama area).


A stopping service on Kansai Main Line (Mie Prefecture).

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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