381 series
A 381 series on a Mahoroba service in May 2010
In service1973–Present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo
Replaced183 series
Entered service1973
Refurbished1997–2011 (JR West)
Number built277 vehicles
Number in service136 vehicles (as of 1 April 2015)
Number preserved2 vehicles
Number scrapped140 vehicles
Successor383 series, 287 series, 289 series
Formation3/4/6/7/9 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JNR (1973–1987)
JR Central (1987–2008)
JR West (1987–Present, scheduled to end operation in 2023)
Depot(s)Hineno, Goto, Fukuchiyama
Car body constructionAluminium alloy
Car length21,300 mm (69 ft 11 in)
Width2,920 mm (9 ft 7 in)
Height3,383 mm (11 ft 1.2 in)
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Traction systemResistor control
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead lines
Current collection methodPantograph
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 381 series (381系, 381-kei) is a tilting DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced in 1973 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and currently operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West), and formerly also operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) in Japan.[1]


As of 1 April 2015, 136 vehicles were operated by JR-West.[2]


JR Central


Livery variations


The 381 series EMU was developed from the experimental 591 series 3-car articulated tilting EMU tested from 1970.[7]

The 381 series entered revenue service from 10 July 1973 on the Shinano limited express between Nagoya and Nagano.[7]

JR-West 381 series trains were removed from Kuroshio, Kounotori, Kinosaki, and Hashidate limited express services in October 2015, with the last services operating on 30 October.[6]

Preserved examples


  1. ^ Jēāru zensharyō handobukku: Rail Magazine 2009 JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009] (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  2. ^ JR電車編成表 2015夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2015] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 20 May 2015. p. 406. ISBN 978-4-330-56915-4.
  3. ^ くろしお381系引退へ…パンダシートも見納め [Kuroshio 381 series to be withdrawn - Also end of panda seats]. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun. 29 October 2015. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  4. ^ "新型車両(287 系)追加投入の詳細" [Details of further introduction of new (287 series) trains] (PDF). JR-West news release (in Japanese). West Japan Railway Company. 28 April 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b "JR西日本 381系福知山車FE編成が営業運転開始" [JR-West: Fukichiyama-based 381 series FE sets enter service]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. 41 (340): 75. August 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d 381系が関西地区の定期運用から離脱 [381 series removed from scheduled Kansai area services]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b プロトタイプの世界 - Prototype World. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbunsha. December 2005. pp. 12–19. OCLC 170056962.
  8. ^ a b "「リニア・鉄道館」ファーストガイド" ["SCMaglev and Railway Park" First Guide]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. 40 (324): 20–33. April 2011.
  9. ^ リニア・鉄道館 N700系車両の展示について [N700 series shinkansen exhibit at SCMaglev and Railway Park] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Central Japan Railway Company. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.