711 series

The 711 series (711系, 711-kei) was an AC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) on Sapporo area suburban services in Hokkaido, Japan, from 1968 until March 2015. It was the first AC EMU train to be operated in Japan by the former Japanese National Railways (JNR).[1] The last remaining trains in service were withdrawn on 13 March 2015.[2]

711 series
711 series set S-113 in service in January 2009
In service1968 – March 2015
Number built114 vehicles (38 sets)
Number in serviceNone
Number preserved3 vehicles
Formation3 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JR Hokkaido
Line(s) servedHakodate Main Line, Chitose Line, Muroran Main Line
Car body constructionSteel
Car length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,950 mm (9 ft 8 in)
Doors2 per side
Maximum speed110 km/h (70 mph)
Traction systemThyristor drive
Electric system(s)20 kV AC (50 Hz)
Current collection methodOverhead line
BogiesDT38 (motored), TR208 (trailer)
Safety system(s)ATS-SN, ATS-DN
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)


By 1 October 2014, 36 vehicles (12 sets) were still in service, all based at Sapporo Depot.[3]


The 711 series trains were formed as three-car sets with one motored intermediate car and two non-powered driving trailer cars, as shown below.[4]

Car No. 123
Designation Tc'MTc
Numbering KuHa 711-200MoHa 711-100KuHa 711-100

Car 2 was fitted with one N-PS785 single-arm pantograph.[4]

Former prototype sets S901/902

The former prototype sets, S901 and S902 were formed as shown below.[5]

Designation TcMcTc'
Numbering KuHa 711-100KuMoHa 711-900KuHa 711-900


Seating consisted of a mixture of transverse seating bays and longitudinal bench seating.[1]


Prototype sets

Two prototype two-car sets, numbered KuMoHa 711-901 + KuHa 711-901 and KuMoHa 711-902 + KuHa 711-902, were delivered in February 1967 for test running ahead of the start of electric suburban services between Otaru and Takikawa from 1968. Both sets were based on the KiHa 22 diesel multiple unit design, but set 901 had opening two-pane windows and featured two sets of four-leaf folding doors per side, whereas set 902 had sealed double-glazed windows, as used on the subsequent full-production sets. The two sets were modified to full-production standards in 1968 and 1970, but set 901 retained its opening windows.[6]

Full-production sets

The first full-production three-car sets were delivered from August 1968.[1] A third, centre, door was added to some of the KuHa 711 cars from 1987.[1] All cars became no-smoking from 1 July 1992.[4] Priority seating was added from 1 October 1997.[4] Air conditioning was added to the two-door sets between 2001 and 2002.[4] The original scissors-type pantographs were replaced with N-PS785 single-arm pantographs between 2004 and 2005.[4]

Repainted sets

In 2011, set S-110 was repainted into its original JNR all-over crimson livery, and this was followed in May 2012 by a second similarly repainted set, S-114.[7]


The last remaining sets in service were withdrawn on 13 March 2015.[2]

Preserved examples

As of July 2017, three 711 series vehicles have been preserved, as follows.[8]


  1. 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. 8. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  2. 2015春のJRダイヤ改正 [JR Spring 2015 Timetable Revision]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). 55 (650): 19. June 2015.
  3. JR電車編成表 2015冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2015] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 21 November 2014. ISBN 978-4-330-51614-1.
  4. JR電車編成表 2010夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2010]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. May 2010. p. 2. ISBN 978-4-330-14310-1.
  5. JR電車編成表 '98夏号 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 1998]. Japan: JRR. July 1998. p. 5. ISBN 978-4-88283-029-0.
  6. プロトタイプの世界 - Prototype World. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. December 2005. p. 111. OCLC 170056962.
  7. Katayama (September 2012). 5/28, 711系 S-114編成, 2編成目の国鉄色に [28 May: 711 series set S-114 2nd set to be repainted in JNR livery]. Japan Railfan Magazine. 52 (617): 161.
  8. Sasada, Masahiro (25 July 2017). 保存車大全コンプリート: 3000両超保存車を完全網羅 保存車大全 コンプリート [Preserved Rolling Stock Complete Work] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. p. 224. ISBN 978-4802203845.

Further reading

  • 711系物語: 北海道初の「赤電車」誕生から引退まで半世紀のあゆみ 711系物語 [The 711 series story] (in Japanese). Japan: JTB Publishing. 28 March 2015. ISBN 978-4533103483.
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