KiHa 52

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KiHa 52
KiHa 52 in old JNR two tone vermilion and beige livery
In service1958–present
Refurbished2020-2021 (PNR)
Number built112 vehicles
Number in service
  • 1 vehicle in Japan
  • 2 vehicles in Myanmar (as of 2020)
  • 1 vehicle in the Philippines (as of 2020)
Number preserved3 (KiHa 52-115; 52-130; 52-156)
Number scrapped105 vehicles
Formation1/2/3 cars
Fleet numbersKiHa 52 1 - 56
KiHa 52 101 - 156
Depot(s)Tutuban, Naga (PNR)
Line(s) served
Car body constructionSteel
Car length21,300 mm (69 ft 11 in)[1]
Width2,928 mm (9 ft 7.3 in)[1]
Height3,925 mm (12 ft 10.5 in)[1]
Doors2 single-leaf sliding doors per side
Weight35.5–36.6 t (34.9–36.0 long tons; 39.1–40.3 short tons)[1]
Prime mover(s)DMH17C/H[1]
Engine typeDiesel
Power output2 x 180 hp (130 kW) [1]
Coupling systemAAR coupler
Multiple workingVarious DMUs in Japan
PNR 900 Class
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge (Myanmar)
  1. ^ Relegated to work train in 2021.

The KiHa 52 (キハ52形, Kiha-gojūni-gata) is a Japanese diesel multiple unit (DMU) type formerly operated by Japanese National Railways (JNR); JR Group companies such as JR East, JR West, JR Shikoku & JR Kyushu; and later by the private railway operator Isumi Railway based in Chiba, Japan, by overseas operators such as Myanmar Railways in Myanmar, and PNR in the Philippines.

112 KiHa 52 cars were built for Japanese National Railways between 1958[dubious ] and 1966. The design was based on the KiHa 20 series "general purpose" DMU type, but with two engines for use on mountainous lines.[2]


  • KiHa 52 1 – 56: Built 1958–1962[3]
  • KiHa 52 101 – 156: Built 1963–1966[3]
  • KiHa 52 651: Converted from KiHa 52 101[3]

Livery variations[edit]

JNR-era liveries[edit]

JR-era regional liveries[edit]


Following withdrawal of the last remaining examples operated by JR-West, one car, KiHa 52 125, was resold to the private operator Isumi Railway in Chiba Prefecture in April 2011. This unit was built in 1965, and formerly operated on the Etsumi-Hoku Line and Ōito Line in the Hokuriku region until 2010.[2]

Overseas operations[edit]


Former JR East KiHa 52 cars at Kawasaki awaiting shipping to Myanmar in December 2007
KiHa 52-154 (5017) in 2014

Seventeen former KiHa 52 Diesel Railcars were shipped to Myanmar to be operated by Myanmar Railways between 2007 and 2008. The following cars were transferred to Myanmar as shown:

Former Body Number of JR Group RBE Body Number by Myanmar Railways
KiHa 52-108 RBE 5001
KiHa 52-109 RBE 5002
KiHa 52-110 RBE 5011
KiHa 52-126 RBE 5003
KiHa 52-141 RBE 5012
KiHa 52-143 RBE 5004
KiHa 52-144 RBE 5005
KiHa 52-145 RBE 5006
KiHa 52-146 RBE 5013
KiHa 52-147 RBE 5014
KiHa 52-148 RBE 5015
KiHa 52-149 RBE 5016
KiHa 52-151 RBE 5007
KiHa 52-152 RBE 5008
KiHa 52-153 RBE 5009
KiHa 52-154 RBE 5017
KiHa 52-155 RBE 5018


PNR KiHa 52 Blue At Ligao Station

Seven former JR East KiHa 52 cars originally based at JR East Niitsu Transportation Zone were donated in September 2011 to the Philippine National Railways (PNR), where they were used on commuter services in the Manila area.[4] In October 2013, the trains were normally operated as two 3-car formations. The seventh car, KiHa 52 123, in Niigata livery, was taken out of service after operating for only seven months, and is stored at Tutuban Depot as a source of spare parts for the rest of the fleet.[4]

The trainsets were retired from passenger service in 2020 and they were replaced by Indonesian-built PNR 8000 class DMUs on the PNR North Main Line. KiHa 52-122 was later refurbished as the newest member of PNR's maintenance fleet in Caloocan, named the "Rescue Train" with the orange livery.[5] The other two units from the KiHa-O trainset are still in storage in Tutuban as of October 2021.[6] KiHa-B trainsets on the other hand were already retired in 2016 and Bicol trainsets were replaced by KiHa 35s.[7]

The former toilets in each car are locked out of use.[4]


During their service as commuter trains, the two three-car sets were referred to as "KiHa-O" (for orange) and "KiHa-B" (for blue) named after the liveries they carry. They were formed as shown below.[4]

KiHa-O 52-137 52-127 52-122
KiHa-B 52-102 52-120 52-121

Preserved examples[edit]

Preserved KiHa 52 130 in June 2010

In addition to KiHa 52 125 operated on the Isumi Railway, as of 2014 three Kiha 52 cars are preserved in Japan, as listed below.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "キハ52車両概要" (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b Kusamachi, Yoshikazu (29 January 2014). いすみ鉄道のキハ52、3月から「首都圏色」に [Isumi Railway's KiHa 52 to be repainted into Metropolitan Livery from March]. Response (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c JR全車輛ハンドブック'92 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 1992]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 1992. p. 296.
  4. ^ a b c d Saito, Miko (March 2014). フィリピン国鉄南方線の日本型車両 [Japanese rolling stock on the PNR Southern Line]. The Railway Pictorial (in Japanese). 64 (887): 64–72.
  5. ^ DEL DMU KIHA TRAIN SCENE RSM CALOOCAN SHOP. 5 July 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  6. ^ Jimena, Jared (10 October 2021). Tres Marias. Retrieved 14 October 2021. (registration required)
  7. ^ Peadon, Brad (March 2020). Diesel Multiple & Electric Multiple Units. PNR Rolling Stock Update (Report). Vol. III.
  8. ^ Sasada, Masahiro (25 November 2014). 国鉄&jr 保存車大全 2015-2016 国鉄&JR保存車大全2015-2016 [JNR & JR Preserved Rolling Stock Complete Guide 2015-2016] (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. p. 125. ISBN 978-4863209282.
  9. ^ ジオステーション ジオパル [Geostation Geopal]. Itoigawa Sightseeing (in Japanese). Japan: Itoigawa Sightseeing Association. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.