400 Series Shinkansen
400 series on Tsubasa service at Yonezawa Station, March 2005
|In service||July 1992 – April 2010|
|Manufacturer||Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Tokyu Car Corporation|
|Number built||84 vehicles (12 sets)|
|Number in service||None|
|Number preserved||1 vehicle|
|Number scrapped||83 vehicles|
|Formation||7 cars per trainset|
|Capacity||399 (20 Green + 379 Standard)|
|Line(s) served||Tōhoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen|
|Car body construction||Steel|
|Car length||22,825 mm (74 ft 10.6 in) (end cars)
20,500 mm (67 ft 3 in) (intermediate cars)
|Width||2,947 mm (9 ft 8.0 in)|
|Doors||one per side|
|Maximum speed||240 km/h (150 mph) (Tōhoku Shinkansen)
130 km/h (81 mph) (Yamagata Shinkansen)
|Traction system||24 x 210 kW (280 hp) (Thyristor drive)|
|Power output||5.04 MW (6,760 hp)|
|Electric system(s)||20/25 kV AC, 50 Hz, overhead catenary|
|Current collection method||PS204 pantograph|
|Bogies||DT204 (motored), TR7006 (trailer)|
|Safety system(s)||ATC-2, DS-ATC, ATS-P|
|Multiple working||200 series, E4 series|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The 400 series (400系) was a Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) between 1992 and 2010 on Tsubasa services on Japan's first Mini-shinkansen line, the Yamagata Shinkansen branch from the main Tōhoku Shinkansen.
The fleet of 400 series trains was leased by JR East from the owning company, Yamagata JR Chokutsū Tokkyū Hoyū Kikō (山形ジェイアール直通特急保有機構(株)), a third-sector company jointly owned by JR East and Yamagata Prefecture.
They were originally six-car sets, but a seventh car (type 429) was added in 1995 to each set due to the popularity of the new Tsubasa services.
Pre-production set 
The pre-production set, S4, was delivered in October 1990, and shown off to the press on 26 October 1990. This was a six-car set arranged as shown below with all cars motored.
The unit featured three different types of bolsterless bogies: DT9028 on cars 1 and 3, DT9029 on cars 2 and 4, and DT9030 on cars 5 and 6. The Green car seats featured seat-back TV screens, a feature not used on the subsequent production sets.
Test running began on the Ōu Main Line between Niwasaka and Itaya on 14 November 1990. From 23 January 1991, test running began in conjunction with a newly converted 200 series 8-car K set on the Tōhoku Shinkansen between Sendai and Kitakami. On 26 March 1991, the 400 series set S4 established a new Japanese speed record of 336 km/h on the Jōetsu Shinkansen in the Yuzawa Tunnel between Echigo-Yuzawa and Urasa. On 19 September 1991, the train set a new speed record of 345 km/h on the same stretch of track.
Test running continued into 1992, with set S4 reaching Tokyo for the first time on 20 May 1992. The pre-production set was then modified to bring it up to production batch standards, becoming set L1 on 29 June 1992.
The production 400 series sets were configured as shown below following the addition of a trailer car (car 15) in late 1995.
|Facilities||WC, wheelchair space||Cardphone||WC, cardphone||Luggage space||WC, luggage space||WC, cardphone||Luggage space|
Fleet details 
|Set No.||Manufacturer||Delivered||7th car added||Refurbished||DS-ATC added||Withdrawn||Remarks|
|L1||Tokyu Car, Hitachi, Kawasaki HI||1 November 1990||14 November 1995||3 March 2000||27 July 2005||1 January 2009||Originally pre-production set S4, converted 29 June 1992.|
|L2||Kawasaki HI||17 January 1992||20 November 1995||14 September 2001||7 October 2005||23 January 2009|
|L3||Kawasaki HI||28 January 1992||2 December 1995||11 June 2001||12 September 2005||18 April 2010||Last set to be withdrawn. Car 411-3 stored pending preservation.|
|L4||Kawasaki HI||6 March 1992||12 December 1995||16 December 1999||28 May 2005||18 September 2009||First set to be refurbished and reliveried.|
|L5||Kawasaki HI||23 March 1992||10 December 1995||28 July 2000||26 November 2005||21 April 2009|
|L6||Kawasaki HI||2 April 1992||8 December 1995||16 October 2001||24 December 2005||26 May 2009|
|L7||Kawasaki HI||13 April 1992||6 December 1995||19 September 2000||2 November 2005||15 May 2009|
|L8||Kawasaki HI||1 May 1992||4 December 1995||19 June 2000||24 June 2005||3 April 2009|
|L9||Kawasaki HI||11 May 1992||20 December 1995||14 April 2000||22 March 2006||21 February 2009||Car 15 built by Hitachi.|
|L10||Kawasaki HI||29 May 1992||14 December 1995||30 March 2001||28 February 2006||7 August 2009||Car 15 built by Hitachi.|
|L11||Kawasaki HI||12 June 1992||16 December 1995||19 February 2001||6 February 2006||20 June 2009||Car 15 built by Hitachi.|
|L12||Kawasaki HI||25 June 1992||18 December 1995||29 May 2000||27 April 2005||19 March 2009||Car 15 built by Hitachi.|
Styling wise, the 400 series were originally painted a medium silver grey with a darker roof and area around the cab windows and underframe, but they were refurbished and repainted between 1999 and 2001, with a higher area of dark bluish-grey on the underside, coming up almost to the side windows, and separated from the silver grey with a green stripe. The dark grey on the roof and around the cab windows was removed.
Clearances were much reduced compared to previous Shinkansen lines, and thus the 400 series units were much narrower than previous Shinkansen trains. At shinkansen stations (i.e. high-speed line stations), steps extended from beneath the doors to bridge the gap between the trains and platforms.
Green (first class) car accommodation had with 2+1 abreast seating, unlike the E3 series trains which replaced them, which featured 2+2 seating in both standard and Green cars. Seat pitch was 1,160 mm (46 in) in Green class (car 11), 980 mm (39 in) in reserved-seating cars (12 to 15), and 910 mm (36 in) in non-reserved cars (16 and 17).
When the fleet received life-extension refurbishment between 1999 and 2001, the interiors were also refurbished with new seat moquette. The reserved seating cars received red moquette, while the non-reserved seating cars received turquoise moquette.
The fleet of 12 6-car sets entered service on the new Tsubasa shinkansen services from 1 July 1992. The 6-car sets were all lengthened to 7 cars between November and December 1995 with the addition of a new type 429 trailer car as car 15.
Withdrawals started in December 2008, with the first set, L1. The entire fleet was scheduled to be withdrawn by summer 2009 and replaced by new E3-2000 series trains. However, one set, L3, remained in service until 18 April 2010, with the date chosen to mark 18 years of service.
The first eleven sets to be withdrawn were all cut up at Sendai General Depot, but one car (Green car 411-3) of the last set to be withdrawn, L3, remains stored at a location in Fukushima pending possible future preservation.
See also 
- "つばさの世代交代" [Tsubasa transition]. Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Kōyūsha) 49 (584): p.42–43. December 2009.
- "在来線直通新幹線電車 ４００系デビュー" [400 series mini-shinkansen train debut]. Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Kōyūsha Co., Ltd.) 31 (357): p8–15. January 1991.
- Yamanouchi, Shūichirō (2002). 東北・上越新幹線 [Tōhoku & Jōetsu Shinkansen]. Tokyo, Japan: JTB Can Books. ISBN 4-533-04513-8.
- 新幹線電車データブック2011 [Shinkansen Databook 2011]. Japan: JRR. March 2011. p. 86. ISBN 978-4-330-19811-8.
- JR電車編成表 '07冬号 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2007]. Japan: JRR. December 2006. ISBN 4-88283-046-9.
- ""JR車両のデータバンク"" [JR Fleet Databank]. Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Kōyūsha) 49 (579). July 2009.
- "JR車両の動き " [JR Rolling Stock Changes]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 38 (305): p126. September 2009.
- 新幹線 車両大全 [Shinkansen Cars Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. November 2011. p. 342-354. ISBN 978-4-86320-526-0.
- "山形新幹線「つばさ」用車両の新造について" [Details of new trains for Yamagata Shinkansen "Tsubasa" services] (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). JR East. 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
- "山形新幹線400系「つばさ」 ご利用に感謝を込めて" (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). JR East. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- "初代「つばさ」保存決定 １８日引退の山形新幹線車両". Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese) (Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company). 17 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- "最後のつばさ400系どこに行く？ ＪＲ東、保存法を探る" [What will happen to the last "Tsubasa" 400 series? JR East looks for preservation methods]. Yamagata Shimbun (in Japanese) (Japan: Yamagata Shimbun). 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
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