JR Freight Class EF500

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Class EF500
JR Freight EF500.jpg
EF500-901 at Hiroshima Depot, October 2006
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric
Build date 1990
Total produced 1
 • UIC Bo-Bo-Bo
Gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter 1,120 mm (3 ft 8 in)
Length 20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width 2,905 mm (9 ft 6.4 in)
Height 4,280 mm (14 ft 1 in)
Loco weight 100.8 t
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC & 20 kV (50/60 Hz) AC
Current source Overhead catenary
Traction motors AC
Performance figures
Maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
Power output 6 MW (8,000 hp)
Tractive effort 26,600 kgf
Operators JR Freight
Number in class 1
First run 1990
Withdrawn 29 March 2002
Disposition Withdrawn, preserved

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]

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EF500-901 was transferred to Sendai Depot in 1996, but subsequently saw little use.[2] It was formally withdrawn on 29 March 2002.[3] The locomotive is stored at JR Freight's Hiroshima Depot.[4]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


  1. ^ JR機関車カタログ [JR Locomotive Catalogue]. Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. 20 June 2013. p. 43. ISBN 9784863207271. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f 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.