JR Freight Class EF500

The Class EF500 (EF500形) was a prototype Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement multi-voltage AC/DC electric locomotive formerly operated by JR Freight in Japan.[1]

Class EF500
EF500-901 at Hiroshima Depot, October 2006
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
BuilderKawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric
Build date1990
Total produced1
Gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter1,120 mm (3 ft 8 in)
Length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,905 mm (9 ft 6.4 in)
Height4,280 mm (14 ft 1 in)
Loco weight100.8 t
Electric system/s1,500 V DC & 20 kV (50/60 Hz) AC
Current pickup(s)Overhead catenary
Traction motorsAC
Performance figures
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Power output6 MW (8,000 hp)
Tractive effort26,600 kgf
OperatorsJR Freight
Number in class1
First run1990
Withdrawn29 March 2002
DispositionWithdrawn, preserved

Intended as a prototype for a new fleet of high-power electric locomotives to haul freight trains northward from Tokyo to Hokkaido, the sole member of the class, EF500-901, was built jointly by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Electric, and delivered to Shin-Tsurumi Depot in August 1990.[2] The design was broadly based on the Class EF200 locomotives built for Tokaido Main Line freight duties west of Tokyo.[2] Following initial test-running, the locomotive underwent long-term feasibility testing on freight services on the Tohoku Main Line.[2] However, the locomotive fell foul of newly introduced government guidelines covering high-frequency electromagnetic noise emissions, and so fleet production was deemed unfeasible.[2] JR Freight instead opted for the Class EH500 and Class EF510 locomotive designs.[2]

EF500-901 was transferred to Sendai Depot in 1996, but subsequently saw little use.[2] It was formally withdrawn on 29 March 2002.[3] The locomotive is stored at JR Freight's Hiroshima Depot.[4]


The EF500 classification for this locomotive type is explained below. As with previous locomotive designs, the prototype is numbered EF500-901.

  • E: Electric locomotive
  • F: Six driving axles
  • 500: AC/DC locomotive with AC motors

See also


  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. プロトタイプの世界 - Prototype World. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. December 2005. pp. 122–123. EAN 4910065141258.
  3. JR車両のデータバンク2001/2002 [JR Rolling Stock Databank 2001/2002]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 42 no. 496. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. August 2002. p. 98.
  4. JR世代の機関車オールガイド [Comprehensive Guide to JR Era Locomotives]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine. Vol. 39 no. 315. Japan: Kotsu Shimbun. July 2010. pp. 12–26.
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