JNR Class D51
Japanese National Railways (JNR) Class D51.
D51 453 preserved at Nishiguchi No. 1 Park in Kashiwa, Chiba at an unknown date.

Years built

1936 – 1945


Hitachi, JNR's Hamamatsu Works, JNR's Kokura Works, JNR's Koriyama Works, JNR's Naebo Works, JNR's Nagano Works, JNR's Ōmiya Works, JNR's Takatori Works, JNR's Tsuchizaki Works, Kawasaki Sharyō, Kisha Seizō, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nippon Sharyo

Number Produced


Years in Operation

1937 – 24 December 1975

Fleet Numbers

D51 1 – D51 954, D51 1001 – D51 1161



Number Preserved

178 (2 in operational condition)

Number Scrapped


(l × w × h)

64 ft 8.75 in × Unknown × Unknown


3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)

V - E - T - D

The JNR Class D51 is a 2-8-2 Mikado steam locomotive designed by Hideo Shima, an engineer who would become the driving force behind the creation of the Shinkansen.

The class was built by various manufacturers, such as the Kawasaki Locomotive Works, from 1936 to 1945 as a mixed-traffic engine, and was one of the most successful and most numerous types of steam locomotives produced in Japan. (Even during World War II, they were used to deliver weapons and vehicles across Japan to supply the Japanese Imperial Army troops.)

The Class D51 is iconic in Japan, comparable to American class locomotives in the US; it inspired the design of many later steam locomotives and was one of the first to use Janney couplers in Japan.

A total of 1,115 were built, with 178 surviving into preservation; two, D51 200 and D51 498, are in operational condition.

From 1936 to 1944, Kawasaki, KishaSeizo, Hitachi was built 32 D51s for Imperial Taiwan Railway. After World War II, they were taken over by Taiwan Railways Administration, and were classified DT650. In 1951, Kisha Seizō built three DT650s and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries built two DT650s for Taiwan Railways Administration. DT668 is preserved in an operational state in Taiwan. There were many D51s were imported to Russia for the Sakhalin Railway, they were used until 1979 by Soviet Railways. D51-22 is displayed at outside Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station, and D51-4 is in running condition and is kept at the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk railway station. Additionally two wrecks were left to the north of the city. In South Korea, two D51s were shipped to Korea for the US Army during the Korean War in 1950s. They were converted to standard gauge. After the Korean War ended, the Korean National Railways classified them as the KNR Mika7 (미카7).

JGR/JNR steam locomotives
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