KiHa 120

The KiHa 120 (キハ120形, Kiha-120-kei) is a single-car diesel multiple unit (DMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) on its rural lines in Japan. Based on Niigata Tekkō's "NDC" lightweight diesel car design intended for third sector operators (such as Matsuura Railway, Takachiho Railway, and Kumagawa Railway), a total of 89 cars were built, with the class divided into three sub-classes: KiHa 120-0, KiHa 120-200, and KiHa 120-300.[1]

KiHa 120
Okayama-based KiHa 120-300 on the Inbi Line in April 2009
ManufacturerJR-West (Gotō Works), Niigata Tekko
Entered serviceMarch 1992
Number built89 vehicles
Number in service89 vehicles
FormationSingle car unit
Depot(s)Fukui, Hamada, Hiroshima, Kameyama, Kisuki, Okayama, Shimonoseki, Toyama
Car body constructionSteel (KiHa 120-200)
Stainless steel (KiHa 120-0/300)
Car length16,300 mm (53 ft 6 in)
Width2,998 mm (9 ft 10.0 in) (KiHa 120-200)
3,188 mm (10 ft 5.5 in) (KiHa 120-0/300)
Doors2 folding doors per side
Maximum speed95 km/h (60 mph)
Weight26.9 t (KiHa 120-0)
25.9 t (KiHa 120-200)
27.7 t (KiHa 120-300)
Prime mover(s)SA6D125H-1
Power output250 hp (at 2,000 rpm) (KiHa 120-200)
330 hp (at 2,000 rpm) (KiHa 120-0/300)
BogiesWDT53 (driving), WT237 (trailing)
Braking system(s)Engine brake, Air brake
Safety system(s)ATS-SW
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)


KiHa 120-200

Eight first-batch cars were built in 1992. These had painted steel bodies, two-pane windows, transverse and longitudinal seating, and no toilets. All cars were later modified with the addition of toilets.[1]

KiHa 120-0

22 second-batch cars were built in 1993, including three cars built at JR-West's Gotō Works. These had uprated engines, stainless steel bodies, single-pane windows, longitudinal seating, and no toilets. All cars were later modified with the addition of toilets.[1][2]

KiHa 120-300

59 third-batch cars were built between 1994 and 1996, including 19 cars built at JR-West's Gotō Works. These were similar in design to the KiHa 120-0 subclass, but were built with some transverse seating. Although not initially built with toilets, all cars were modified with the addition of toilets from 2005.[1][2]

Livery variations


  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. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  2. Nishiwaki, Kōji (November 2010). JR各社の新世代気動車の現状 JR西日本キハ120形 [The Current Situation of JR Group Modern DMUs: JR-West KiHa 120]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 50 no. 595. Japan: Kōyūsha. pp. 100–105.
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