JNR Class DF50

The Class DF50 (DF50形) is a class of Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement diesel-electric locomotives operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) in Japan from 1957 until 1983.[1]

Class DF50
A pair of DF50s on a farewell tour in 1983
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
Build date1957–1963
Total produced138
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter800 mm (2 ft 7 in)
Length16,400 mm (53 ft 10 in)
Width2,932 mm (9 ft 7.4 in)
Height3,987 mm (13 ft 1.0 in)
Loco weight85.1 t
Traction motorsMT48 x 6
Performance figures
Maximum speed90 km/h (55 mph)
Power output1,060 hp (DF50-0), 1,200 hp (DF50-500)
First run1957
Last run1983



First batch of 65 locomotives built between 1957 and 1962 with Sulzer 8-cylinder 8LDA25A 1,060 hp diesel engines.[1][2] Production was shared between Kisha Seizō, Mitsubishi, and Nippon Sharyō.[2]


Later batch of 73 locomotives built between 1958 and 1963 with MAN V6-cylinder V22/30 1,200 hp diesel engines.[1][2] Production was shared between Hitachi, Kawasaki, and Toshiba.[2]


Class DF50 locomotives were intended for use on both passenger and freight services, and included a steam generator for train heating.[3] They operated on the following lines, including use hauling "Blue Train" sleeping car services.[2]

In later years, operations were restricted to Kyushu and Shikoku, with the remaining locomotives withdrawn in 1983, except for DF50 1, which later passed into JR Shikoku ownership.[1]


The locomotives were initially painted in all-over maroon with stainless steel bands, but were subsequently repainted into the standard JNR diesel locomotive livery of vermillion and grey.[2]

Preserved examples

Three Class DF50 locomotives were preserved.[3]


The DF50 classification for this locomotive type is explained below.

  • D: Diesel locomotive
  • F: Six driving axles
  • 50: Locomotive with maximum speed exceeding 85 km/h


  1. JR全車輛ハンドブック1995 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 1995] (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing. 1995. p. 71.
  2. Inoue, Kōichi (1999). 国鉄機関車事典: 蒸気・電気・ディーゼル機関車66形式 国鉄機関車辞典 [JNR Locomotive Encyclopedia] (in Japanese). Japan: Sankaido. p. 182–183. ISBN 978-4-381-10338-3.
  3. Sasada, Masahiro (September 2012). 国鉄&JR保存車大全 [JNR & JR Preserved Rolling Stock Complete Guide] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. p. 34, 127. ISBN 978-4863206175.
  4. DF50 18が津山に向けて陸送される [DF50 18 moved to Tsuyama]. RM News (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
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