The Niigata Rinkai Railway was founded in 1969, jointly by JNR and the Niigata prefectural government, to build and operate a 5,4Km-long line connecting the port of Niigata to the national railway network at Kuroyama station, on the Hakushin Line, with the Niigata Rinkai Railway Line finally opening on the 1st of October 1970.
The railway primarily carried chemical products, and newly-built rolling stock from Niigata Transys (wich had it’s plant nearby), but by the late 1990s, as production output became lower and lower, most companies switched from railway to truck transportation, making the Niigata Rinkai Railway effectively useless.
Shortly after, in 2002, the company was disbanded and most of the line closed, with the exception of the southernmost section of the line, between Kuroyama and Fujiyose freight station (about 2,5 Km) wich was acquired by the prefectural government and it’s now operated directly by JR Freight.
To operate services on the line, shortly before closure in 2002, the Niigata Rinkai Railway had a small fleet of three DE65 locomotives (based on JNR’s DE11s): two units, nos. 1 and 2, bought new from Nippon Sharyo and one (no.3) bought second-hand from JR Freight in 1995 to replace the railway’s other diesel locomotives: two ageing DD55 (former JNR DD13s built in 1959 and 1960).