JR Freight Class ED500

The Class ED500 was a single Bo-Bo wheel arrangement dual voltage AC/DC electric locomotive built experimentally by Hitachi in Japan in 1992.[1] The design was derived from the DC Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement Class EF200 also built by Hitachi, and was intended to replace Class ED75 locomotives on Tohoku Main Line freight services. The locomotive was loaned to JR Freight for testing until 1994,[1] but the design was not selected for full production due to problems with restarting a single Bo-Bo wheel arrangement locomotive on the 25‰ gradients of the Tohoku Main Line and in the Seikan Tunnel.[2] The Class EH500 articulated Bo-Bo+Bo-Bo design was ultimately chosen instead.

Class ED500
ED500-901 at Shin-Tsurumi Depot, August 1992
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
Build date1992
Total produced1
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter1,120 mm (3 ft 8 in)
Length17,600 mm (57 ft 9 in)
Width2,905 mm (9 ft 6.4 in)
Loco weight67.2 t
Electric system/s1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC
Current pickup(s)Overhead catenary
Traction motorsAC
Performance figures
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Power output4 MW (5,400 hp)
Tractive effort28,367 kgf
OperatorsJR Freight
DispositionWithdrawn and cut up

External appearance

Visually resembling the EF200 locomotives, the ED500 was finished in all-over black with red cab doors.[2]


The ED500 classification for this locomotive type is explained below. As with previous locomotive designs, the prototype was numbered ED500-901.

  • E: Electric locomotive
  • D: Four driving axles
  • 500: AC/DC locomotive with AC motors


  1. Jr機関車カタログ: Jr7社の現有30形式を詳しく解說 JR機関車カタログ [JR Locomotive Catalogue]. Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. 20 June 2013. p. 43. ISBN 9784863207271.
  2. JR世代の機関車オールガイド [Comprehensive Guide to JR Era Locomotives]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. 39 (315): 12–26. July 2010.
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