121 series

The 121 series (121系) is an electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced in March 1987 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and currently operated by Shikoku Railway Company (JR Shikoku) on local services in Shikoku, Japan.[1][2]

121 series
A pair of 121 series sets on the Yosan Line in May 2009
In serviceMarch 1987
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Number built38 vehicles (19 sets)
Number in service38 vehicles (19 sets)
Formation2 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JNR (1987)
JR Shikoku (1987)
Line(s) servedDosan Line, Yosan Line
Car body constructionStainless steel
Car length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,800 mm (9 ft 2 in)
Height3,670 mm (12 ft 0 in)
Floor height1,180 mm (3 ft 10 in)
Doors3 pairs per side
Maximum speed100 km/h (60 mph)
Traction system 121 series:
Resistor Control MT55A traction motors (from 103 series)
7200 series:
Toyo S-CS63A IGBT-VVVF S-MT64 traction motors
Power output110 kW x 4
Acceleration2 km/h/s
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead
Current collection methodOverhead catenary
Bogies 121 series:
DT33A (motored)
DT12T (trailer)
7200 series:
S-DT67ef (motored)
S-TR67ef (trailer)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)


The 121 series design is based on the earlier 105 series, with lightweight stainless steel bodies.[3]

The motor bogies were the same DT33A bogies as used on the JNR-era 103 series EMUs, and the trailer cars used DT21T bogies recovered from withdrawn 101 series EMUs.[4] The pantographs were also recovered from withdrawn 101 series EMUs.[4]


The sets are based at Takamatsu Depot and operate on the Yosan Line and Dosan Line in 2-, 4-, or 6-car formations.[2][5]


As of 1 April 2016, the fleet consists of 18 two-car 121 series sets and one 7200 series formed of one motored "Mc" car and one non-powered "Tc" trailer car as shown below with the motored "Mc" cars at the Takamatsu end.[5]

121 series

Designation McTc
Numbering KuMoHa 121KuHa 120
Weight (t) 42.028.0
Capacity (total/seated) 118/62118/62

The "Mc" cars are each fitted with one S-PS58 lozenge-type pantograph.[5]

7200 series

Designation McTc
Numbering KuMoHa 7200KuHa 7300
Weight (t) 37.628.5
Capacity (total/seated) 132/52132/52

The "Mc" cars are each fitted with one S-PS58 lozenge-type pantograph.[6]


Seating is arranged as a mix of transverse seating bays and longitudinal bench seats.[2] The sets are not equipped with toilets.[5]


The 121 series sets were introduced on 23 March 1987, just nine days before JNR was privatized on 1 April, following which the 121 series fleet came under control of JR Shikoku.[4] The sets were originally delivered with magenta "Red No. 20" bodyside stripes, but were repainted with JR Shikoku corporate light blue ("Blue No. 26") bodyside stripes during September and October 1987.[2]

In 1992, the original pantographs were replaced with the same S-PS58 type pantographs also used on the JR Shikoku 7000 series EMUs to ensure adequate clearance through tunnels on newly electrified sections of the Yosan Line.[4]

In 2011, two sets (numbers 001 and 002) were modified for wanman driver only operation. These sets were repainted with their original JNR-style magenta bodyside stripes.[5]

Refurbishment and conversion

From 2016, the entire fleet of 19 two-car trainsets is scheduled to undergo refurbishment, and at the same time reclassified "7200 series". Refurbishment includes replacement of the DC motors with 140 kW AC motors and VVVF control, new side windows, new "efWing" CFRP bogies (S-DT67ef motor bogies and S-TR67ef trailer bogies), and a new livery based on the original style with a thin green line added to the magenta bodyside stripe.[6] Internally, the refurbished trains have fixed four-person seating bays on one side with longitudinal bench seating on the other.[6]

The first trainset to be treated, set 3, was outshopped from JR Shikoku's Tadotsu Works in February 2016,[7] and entered service from 13 June 2016.[8]

Fleet history

The individual build histories for the fleet are as follows.[4]

Set No.ManufacturerDate delivered7200 series conversion date
001Hitachi17 November 198612 October 2018
002Kinki Sharyo20 November 1986
003Kawasaki Heavy Industries13 December 198615 March 2016
004Kawasaki Heavy Industries13 December 19869 September 2016
005Kinki Sharyo27 December 198628 March 2017
006Kinki Sharyo27 December 198620 February 2018
007Kinki Sharyo27 December 19867 November 2017
008Tokyu Car27 January 19875 June 2017
009Tokyu Car27 January 198728 February 2017
010Tokyu Car27 January 198722 August 2018
011Tokyu Car27 January 198728 December 2017
012Hitachi13 January 19872 July 2018
013Hitachi27 January 198728 October 2016
014Hitachi27 January 19876 December 2016
015Kawasaki Heavy Industries16 January 198713 September 2017
016Kawasaki Heavy Industries16 January 198718 January 2017
017Kawasaki Heavy Industries16 January 198720 July 2017
018Kinki Sharyo20 January 198711 December 2018
019Kinki Sharyo20 January 198728 March 2018


  1. Haraguchi, Takayuki (2009). Jr全車両: ビジュアル決定版 Encyclopedia of JR's Railway Cars: JR全車輌. Japan: Sekai Bunka. p. 75. ISBN 978-4-418-09905-4.
  2. Jēāru zensharyō handobukku: Rail Magazine 2009 JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. p. 256. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  3. Fukuhara, Shunichi (August 2016). 121系近郊形直流電車のあゆみ part1 [The history of the 121 series suburban DC EMU trains (part 1)]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 664. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. p. 84–87.
  4. Fukuhara, Shunichi (September 2016). 121系近郊形直流電車のあゆみ part2 [The history of the 121 series suburban DC EMU trains (part 2)]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 665. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. p. 94–99.
  5. Jr電車編成表 JR電車編成表 2016夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 20 May 2016. p. 205. ISBN 978-4-330-68216-7.
  6. Yoshimoto, Eizaburo (August 2016). 7200系近郊形直流電車 [7200 series suburban DC EMU trains]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 664. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. p. 84–87.
  7. JR四国121系第3編成が7200系となり出場 [JR Shikoku 121 series set 3 outshopped as 7200 series]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  8. JR四国7200系が営業運転を開始 [JR Shikoku 7200 series enters revenue service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
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