JNR Class DD15

The Class DD15 (DD15形) is a four-axle Bo-Bo wheel arrangement diesel-hydraulic locomotive type operated in Japan as a self-propelled snowplough unit since 1961 by the national railway company Japanese National Railways (JNR), and later by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West). A total of 50 locomotives were built between 1961 and 1966, and as of 1 April 2016, 6 locomotives remain in service.

Class DD15
JR West DD15 14 in February 2010
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-hydraulic
BuilderNippon Sharyo
Build date1961–1966
Total produced50
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  • 13,600 mm (44 ft 7 in) (locomotive only)
  • 21,200 mm (69 ft 7 in) (with snowplough units)
Width2,926 mm (9 ft 7.2 in)
Height3,880 mm (12 ft 9 in)
Axle load15.5 t
Loco weight62.0 t
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity1,500 l
RPM range1,500
Engine typeDMF31SB x 2
Performance figures
Maximum speed70 km/h (45 mph)
Power output1,000 hp (750 kW)
Tractive effort16,500 kgf (162,000 N; 36,000 lbf)
Number in class6 (as of 1 April 2016)
DeliveredNovember 1961
DispositionIn service


A total of 50 locomotives were built between 1961 and 1966, divided into the following sub-classes.[1]

  • Class DD15-0: 46 locomotives built between 1961 and 1965
  • Class DD15-300 4 locomotives built in 1966 with modified gearing


The Class DD15 was developed from the Class DD13 locomotive design, with the addition of snowplough units at either end.[1] The snowplough units could be detached, allowing the locomotives to be used for shunting and other duties outside the winter periods.[1] However, with the snowplough units mounted, the locomotive axle load was nearly 16 t, restricting use on rural lines, and so the class was superseded by the later Class DE15 locomotives, which had separate snowplough units.[2] As with the Class DD13 locomotives, the Class DD15 had two 500 hp (370 kW) DMF31SB diesel engines.[3]



46 Class DD15-0 locomotives were built between 1961 and 1965 by Nippon Sharyo,[1] with the first locomotive delivered in November 1961.[3]

As of 1 April 2016, six Class DD15-0 locomotives remain in service.[2]


Four Class DD15-300 locomotives were built in 1966 by Nippon Sharyo.[1] These locomotives had a modified gear ratio, changed from 1:3.143 to 1:3.196.[1]

As of 1 April 2016, no Class DD15-300 locomotives remain in service.[2]

Fleet status

At the time of privatization of Japanese National Railways (JNR) on 1 April 1987, 32 Class DD15 locomotives remained in service, with JR East receiving 19 and JR West receiving 13.[4] By 1 April 1995, 25 locomotives were still in service, operated by JR East and JR West, including two DD15-300 locomotives.[1]

As of 1 April 2016, six locomotives remain in service, all operated by JR West.[2]

Preserved examples

As of 2014, three Class DD15 locomotives are preserved.[5]


The DD15 classification for this locomotive type is explained below.

  • D: Diesel locomotive
  • D: Four driving axles
  • 15: Locomotive with maximum speed of 85 km/h or less


  1. JR全車輛ハンドブック1995 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 1995] (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing. 1995. p. 69–72, 582.
  2. Miyahara, Masakazu, ed. (December 2016). 国鉄最終章LAST (鉄道ジャーナル2017年2月号別冊) [JNR - The Final Chapter (Railway Journal February 2017 Extra issue)] (in Japanese). Japan: Railway Journal. p. 39–41. ASIN B01N59AJPB. ISSN 0288-2337.
  3. Ishii, Yoshitaka (2004). Dd51物語: 国鉄ディーゼル機関車2400両の開発と活躍の足跡 DD51物語 [The DD51 Story] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: JTB Can Books. p. 93–94, 188. ISBN 978-4-533-05661-1.
  4. 現在も活躍するJR旅客社の国鉄形車両 [JNR rolling stock still in service with JR passenger companies]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 663. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. July 2016. p. 82.
  5. Sasada, Masahiro (25 November 2014). 国鉄&jr 保存車大全 2015-2016 国鉄&JR保存車大全2015-2016 [JNR & JR Preserved Rolling Stock Complete Guide 2015-2016] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. p. 123. ISBN 978-4863209282.
  6. Shibata, Togo (February 2016). 2016年「津山まなびの鉄道館」としてリニューアルオープン [Reopening in 2016 as "Tsuyama Railroad Educational Museum!]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 45 no. 382. Japan: Kotsu Shimbun. p. 46–47.
  7. DD15 30が津山へ [DD15 30 moved to Tsuyama]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
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