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Slated to start running on the Hakodate Main Line between Otaru and Oshamambe at the spring timetable revision in March of next year. These will eventually replace the kiha 40 type. Delivery of 6 units back in September. Various southern Hokkaido locales:
Replacement for aging kiha 40 used on most rural lines. Will be based on the JR East GV-E400 but winterized for Hokkaido conditions. A pair of test prototypes will be introduced by February 2018, with a one year trial period thereon. JR Hokkaido press release: http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2017/170712-2.pdf