JNR Class EF81
JR Freight EF81 87 in August 2007
The Class EF81 is a six-axle Bo-Bo-Bo wheel arrangement multi-voltage AC/DC electric locomotive type operated on passenger and freight services in Japan since 1968. As of 1 April 2016[update], 44 locomotives remained in service, operated by JR Freight, JR East, and JR West.
- EF81-0: Numbers EF81 1 – 152, built 1968–1979
- EF81-300: Numbers EF81 301 – 304, built 1973–1975
- EF81-400: Numbers EF81 401 – 414
- EF81-450: Numbers EF81 451 – 455, built 1991–1992
- EF81-500: Numbers EF81 501 – 503, built 1989
- EF81-600: Former EF81-0 locomotives renumbered by JR Freight from May 2012
152 locomotives were built from 1968 to 1979 in three batches and numbered EF81 1 to EF81 152. 14 EF81-0 locomotives were later modified to become Class EF81-400. The prototype locomotive, EF81 1, was built by Hitachi, and delivered in 1968. Locomotives EF81 137 onward were built with sun-visor plates above the cab windows. These were also subsequently retro-fitted to locomotives EF81 133 to 136.
The prototype, EF81 1, was withdrawn on 31 March 2004.
From May 2012, JR Freight locomotives not fitted with driving recording units mandated for operations over 100 km/h (60 mph) were renumbered by adding "600" to the running number to differentiate them from the other members of the sub-class fitted.
Four locomotives were built between 1973 and 1975 by Hitachi with unpainted corrugated stainless steel bodies for use on services through the undersea Kanmon Tunnel to Kyushu. In 1978, locomotives EF81 301 and 302 were transferred to the Joban Line in 1978, and received the standard JNR AC/DC livery of pale red.
14 locomotives were built in 1986 and 1987 and to replace ageing Class EF30 hauling services through the Kanmon Tunnel. Although some locomotives operating on a few "Blue Train" services served some railway lines in Kyushu, in particular sections of the Kagoshima Main Line and the Nippō Main Line as well as the entire Nagasaki Main Line.
Locomotives EF81 409 to 414 were withdrawn between March 1996 and December 2010.
EF81 414 on an Asakaze service in July 1991
Five locomotives built in 1991 and 1992 for use hauling freight services through the Kanmon Tunnel. Locomotives EF81 451 and 452 have modern-style headlight clusters.
Three locomotives, EF81 501 to 503, were built by Hitachi in 1989 for JR Freight for use on freight services along the Sea of Japan coastal route.
These are former Class EF81-0 locomotives renumbered from May 2012 by JR Freight to differentiate them from locomotives fitted with driving recording units mandated for operations over 100 km/h (60 mph).
JR West EF81 103 in Twilight Express livery in February 2011
In August 2014, JR East Tabata-based locomotive EF81 81 was repainted into a JNR-period imperial train locomotive livery, consisting of "rose pink" (Red No. 13) with silver bodyside stripe.
As of April 2016[update], four members of the class are preserved.
- EF81 10: Preserved at the Hakuba Mini Train Park in Hakuba, Nagano (front section only).
- EF81 63: Kept at JR Freight's training centre in Shinagawa, Tokyo. (Not on public display)
- EF81 103: Preserved at the Kyoto Railway Museum in Twilight Express green livery.
- EF81 138: Preserved privately in Chikusei, Ibaraki, since December 2015.
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- 京都鉄道博物館 [Kyoto Railway Museum]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 662. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. June 2016. p. 52-53.
- "EF81 138". Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 2 February 2016. Archived from the original on 17 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- 関東鉄道キハ100形2両が保存先へ陸送される [Two Kanto Railway Kiha 100 cars moved to preservation location]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 16 January 2017. Archived from the original on 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
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