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Limited express hokuetsu 485-3000bandai.JPG
A 485-3000 series EMU on a Hokuetsu service, September 2014
Service type Limited express
Status Discontinued
Locale Japan
First service 1 March 1970
Last service 13 March 2015
Former operator(s)
Start Kanazawa
End Niigata
Service frequency 5 return services daily
Line used Hokuriku Main Line, Shinetsu Main Line
On-board services
Class(es) Standard + Green
Seating arrangements 2+2 unidirectional
Rolling stock 485 series EMU
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 20 kV AC
Operating speed 120 km/h (75 mph)[1]

The Hokuetsu (北越?) was a limited express train service in Japan formerly operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR) and later by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between Kanazawa and Niigata from 1970 until March 2015.[1]

Rolling stock[edit]

Hokuetsu services were normally formed of 6-car 485 series (sets T12–16) or refurbished 485-3000 series electric multiple unit EMU trainsets (sets R21–28), based at Niigata Depot.[2]


The six-car 485 series sets were formed with car 1 at the Kanazawa end and car 6 at the Niigata end.[2] All cars are no smoking.[3]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Numbering KuRoHa 481 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 MoHa 484 MoHa 485 KuHa 481
Accommodation Green Reserved Reserved Reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved Non-reserved

The 485 series sets had toilets in each car, while 485-3000 series sets had toilets in 1, 2, 4, and 6 only.[2]


The Hokuetsu was first introduced from 1 March 1970 as a limited express operating between Osaka and Niigata.[4] From 2 October 1978, the operating route was shortened to Kanazawa to Niigata.[5]

JR staff holding a "Thank you" banner on the platform at Kanazawa Station prior to the departure of the final Hokuetsu service to Niigata on 13 March 2015

Hokuetsu services were discontinued from the start of the 14 March 2015 timetable revision, with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Nagano and Kanazawa.[6]


  1. ^ a b JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 38. ISBN 978-4-330-00608-6. 
  2. ^ a b c JR電車編成表 2014夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2014]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 30 May 2014. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-4-330-46614-9. 
  3. ^ JR Timetable. Kotsu Shimbunsha. March 2014. p. 976. EAN 4910053110341. 
  4. ^ Teramoto, Mitsuteru (23 July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 513–514. ISBN 4-88732-093-0. 
  5. ^ 列車名鑑1995 [Train Name Directory 1995]. Japan: Railway Journal. August 1995. p. 129. 
  6. ^ 北陸新幹線開業で2つの特急廃止 [2 limited express services scrapped with opening of Hokuriku Shinkansen]. NHK News (in Japanese). Japan. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 

External links[edit]