183 series

The 183 series (183系, 183-kei) was a Japanese limited express electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced in 1972 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and currently operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), and formerly also operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West). In terms of design, it is closely based on the late-model AC/DC 485 series, with minor cosmetic differences and DC-only drive. The last 189 series sets were withdrawn in March 29, 2019.

183 / 189 series
A 183 series set on an additional Minakami service in January 2008
ManufacturerKawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation, JR-West
Constructed19721982 (183 series)
1975, 19781979 (189 series)
Entered serviceJuly 1972 (183 series)
October 1975 (189 series)
Number built512 vehicles (183 series)
155 vehicles (189 series)
Number in serviceNone (183 series)
None (189 series)
Number preserved6 vehicles (183 series)
5 vehicles (189 series)
Number scrapped506 vehicles(183 series)
144 vehicles (189 series)
Formation4, 6, 9, 10, 11 or 12 cars per set (183 series)
4, 6 or 8 cars per set (189 series)
Operator(s) 183 series
JNR (1972–1987)
JR East (19872015)
JR-West (1990–March 2013)
189 series
JNR (19751987)
JR East (1987March 2019)
Line(s) servedVarious
Car body constructionSteel
Car length21,000 mm (68 ft 11 in) (end cars)
20,500 mm (67 ft 3 in) (intermediate cars)
Width2,946 mm (9 ft 8.0 in)
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Traction systemResistor control
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC
Current collection methodoverhead catenary
Braking system(s)Dynamic brake, electro-pneumatic brake
Safety system(s)ATS-S, ATC-5
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The trains were built by Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo, and Tokyu Car Corporation.

Former operations

JR East


The 183 series trains operated by JR-West were actually DC-only conversions of 485 series trainsets. They were used on limited-express services from Kyoto and Shin-Osaka to the northern coast of Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, as part of the "Kitakinki Big X Network". These trainsets were gradually phased out from spring 2011 in favor of the new 287 series, and completely removed from regular scheduled services by the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2013.


  • JR全車両ハンドブック2006 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2006]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2006.
  • JR電車編成表 '07冬号 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2007]. Japan: JRR. December 2006. ISBN 978-4-88283-046-7.
  1. JR西日本の183系が定期運用を終了 [JR-West 183 series withdrawn from scheduled services]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
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