521 series

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521 series
521 series EMU at Sakata Station, October 2007
In service November 2006–
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo
Replaced 419 series
Constructed 2006–
Number under construction 4 vehicles (2 sets)
Number built 108 vehicles (54 sets)
Number in service 108 vehicles (54 sets) (as of 1 October 2014)
Formation 2 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers E01–E05, G01–G30, J01–J19
Operator JR West
Depot(s) Tsuruga, Kanazawa
Line(s) served Hokuriku Main Line, Kosei Line
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 20,100 mm (65 ft 11 in)
Width 2,950 mm (9 ft 8 in)
Height 3,630 mm (11 ft 11 in)
Floor height 1,120 mm (3 ft 8 in)
Doors 3 pairs per side
Maximum speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
Traction system Variable frequency (3-level IGBT)
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC 60 Hz overhead line
Current collection method WPS28D single-arm pantograph
Bogies WDT59B (motored), WTR243C (trailer)
Braking system(s) Regenerative brake, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, snow-resistant brake
Safety system(s) ATS-SW, ATS-P
Coupling system Shibata type
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 521 series (521系?) is a dual-voltage AC/DC outer-suburban electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West) on local services in the Fukui and Kanazawa areas since November 2006.[1]


The 521 series was the first dual-voltage suburban EMU type to be built for JR West. The body of the first two batches was based on the 223-5000 series suburban EMU design, with the same WMT102C 230 kW traction motors.[2] The sets are able to be used on wanman driver-only operation services.[1]



As of 1 October 2014, the fleet consists of 54 2-car sets, allocated to Kanazawa (30 sets, G01-G30) and Tsuruga (24 sets, E01-E05, J01-J19) depots.[3] The Kanazawa-based "G" sets and Tsuruga-based "J" sets are used between Kanazawa and Tsuruga. The Tsuruga-based are used between Maibara and Fukui.[3]

19 third-batch 2-car sets (J01 to J19) were delivered to Tsuruga Depot in fiscal 2013.[3] The third-batch sets have cab ends based on the JR West 225 series EMUs, with improved crash resistance, and use LED lighting for interior lighting.[4] These sets entered revenue service in spring 2014.[4]


Sets consist of one motored and one non-powered trailer car, and are formed as follows.[2][3]

Designation Mc Tpc'
Numbering KuMoHa 521 KuHa 520
Capacity (total/seated) 129/48 129/40
Weight 43.2 t 44.3 t

The KuHa 520 cars are each fitted with one WPD28D single-arm pantograph.[3]


Seating is arranged as 2+2 abreast transverse flip-over seats. The KuHa 520 cars include a toilet.[3]


The first five sets, E01 to E05, were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo, and were delivered to Fukui depot between September and October 2006. These entered revenue service from 30 November 2006. The fleet was reallocated to Tsuruga Depot from 1 June 2010.[5]

Ten more sets, G01 to G10, built by Kinki Sharyo, were delivered to Kanazawa depot between October 2009 and March 2010, entering revenue service from 13 March 2010.[5] A further five sets, G11 to G15, were delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in December 2010 and January 2011.[5] 15 more sets, M01 to M15, were delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries to Tsuruga Depot between January and March 2011.[5]

Future developments[edit]

16 two-car 521 series sets are scheduled to be transferred to the third-sector railway operating company Ainokaze Toyama Railway for use from 14 March 2015 when JR West hands over ownership of the sections of the Hokuriku Main Line in Toyama Prefecture running parallel to the new Hokuriku Shinkansen.[6] Likewise, three two-car sets are scheduled to be transferred to the IR Ishikawa Railway, which takes over control of the section of the Hokuriku Main Line in Ishikawa Prefecture from 14 March 2015.[7] Two more sets will be newly built for the IR Ishikawa Railway.[7]


  1. ^ a b Haraguchi, Takayuki (2009). Encyclopedia of JR's Railway Cars: JR全車輌. Japan: Sekai Bunka. p. 90. ISBN 978-4-418-09905-4. 
  2. ^ a b JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f JR電車編成表 2015冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2015] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 21 November 2014. p. 139-142. ISBN 978-4-330-51614-1. 
  4. ^ a b 521系3次車 [521 series 3rd-batch stock]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 54 (634): p.54-55. February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d JR電車編成表 2011夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2011]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. May 2010. p. 139/142. ISBN 978-4-330-21211-1. 
  6. ^ 富山県の北陸新幹線並行在来線、新社名は「あいの風とやま鉄道」に内定! [New company name "Ainokaze Toyama Railway" chosen for old line running parallel to Hokuriku Shinkansen in Toyama Prefecture]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b IRいしかわ鉄道521系 [IR Ishikawa Railway 521 series]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 55 (647): p.56. March 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 521系近郊形交直流電車 [521 series outer-suburban AC/DC EMU]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 47 (549): p.54–59. January 2007. 

External links[edit]