E231 series

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E231 series
E231-1000 series suburban type train
In service 2000–Present
Manufacturer JR East, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Tokyu Car Corporation
Built at Niitsu, Kobe, Yokohama
Replaced 103 series, 113 series, 115 series, 201 series, 205 series, 301 series
Constructed 1998–2011
Number built 2,736 vehicles
Number in service 2,632 vehicles
Number scrapped 104 vehicles (SaHa E230-500)
Formation 5/10/11 cars per trainset
Operator JR East
Depot(s) Oyama, Matsudo, Tokyo, Kōzu, Mitaka
Line(s) served Tōkaidō Main Line, Yamanote Line, Chūō-Sōbu Line, Shōnan Shinjuku Line, Jōetsu Line, Ryōmō Line, Takasaki Line, Utsunomiya Line, Yokosuka Line, Gotemba Line, Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)[1]
Width 2,950 mm (9 ft 8 in)[1]
Doors 4 pairs per side
6 pairs per side (SaHa E230)
Maximum speed 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph)[1]
Traction system IGBT-VVVF
Acceleration 2.5 km/h/s, 3.0 km/h/s or 3.3 km/h/s
Deceleration 4.0 km/h/s (4.5 km/h/s for emergency brake)
Train heating 1,500 V DC overhead
Current collection method Overhead line
Bogies DT61(powered car), TR246(trailer car)
Braking system(s) Regenerative brake, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes
Safety system(s) ATS-P, ATS-SN, D-ATC
Coupling system Shibata-Type
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The E231 series (E231系?) is an electric multiple unit (EMU) train type used for commuter and outer-suburban services operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan since 2000.


Trains were manufactured by Tokyu Car Corporation, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and also at JR East's factory at Niitsu in Niigata Prefecture.


The type evolved from the earlier 209 series and E217 series EMUs, with the main visible difference being wider bodies (2,950 mm compared to the 2,800 mm for earlier commuter trains), and the prototype train built in 1998 for trials on the Chūō-Sōbu Line was actually classified 209-950 series, later becoming E231-900 series. Full-production E231-0 series trains were subsequently introduced on the Chūō-Sōbu Line (10-car sets) and Jōban Line (10+5-car sets). Other variants include the 11-car E231-500 series for the Yamanote Line, and the E231-800 series with 2,800 mm wide bodies and end doors for use on Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line interrunning services.

From 2000 onward, the first E231-1000 series outer-suburban variant was delivered for use on Utsunomiya Line and Takasaki Line services north from Ueno Station in Tokyo. These trains included transverse seating in some cars and were also equipped with toilets. Production continued into 2006 with trains delivered for use on the Tōkaidō Main Line south from Tokyo. From 2004 onward, two bilevel Green cars were inserted into all E231-1000 series 10-car sets.

E231-0 series[edit]

46 10-car sets (Sets 1-42, 57, 80-82) based at Mitaka Depot for use on Chūō-Sōbu Line services, replacing the earlier 103 and 201 series fleet. Sets 1 to 42 were delivered between February 2000 and November 2001. Set 57 was delivered in November 2002. Sets 80 to 82 were delivered between October and November 2006. The first sets entered service on 13 March 2000. These sets each include one "six-door" SaHa E230 car (car 5).[2]

17 10-car sets (101 to 117) and 19 5-car sets (121 to 139) based at Matsudo Depot for use on Jōban Line services between Ueno and Toride, and also Narita Line services to Narita, replacing the earlier 103 series fleet. The fleet was delivered between November 2001 and February 2005, with the first trains entering service on 3 March 2002.[2]

E231-500 series[edit]

Yamanote Line 11-car E231-500 series, March 2009

A fleet of 52 11-car E231-500 series was delivered from January 2002 to April 2005 for use on Yamanote Line services, replacing the earlier 205 series fleet. The first trains entered service on 21 April 2002. These trains include D-ATC digital automatic train control, and feature pairs of LCD passenger information screens above each door internally. These screens also show advertisements.

Each 11-car set contains two 6-door SaHa E230 trailer cars (cars 7 and 10)[2] with six pairs of doors per side and bench seats that were folded up until 10 a.m. on weekdays to provide standing room only during the morning peak. From 22 February 2010, the seats were able to be used during the morning peak.[3]

The two 6-door cars in each set were replaced by a new build of 4-door trailer cars between February 2010 and August 2011, to standardize door spacing ahead of the introduction of platform doors on all Yamanote Line stations by 2017.[3] The new cars were built to E233 series standards, and the replacement cars (SaHa E231-4600) for car 10 have an irregular door spacing corresponding to the driving cars of Keihin-Tōhoku Line E233-1000 series sets, which occasionally have to share the same platforms during engineering work. This results in interior seating arranged 3-7-7-5-4, instead of the normal 3-7-7-7-3 arrangement.[4] The first batch of replacement 4-door SaHa E231-600 and SaHa E231-4600 cars were delivered from JR East's Niitsu factory on 1 February 2010.[5] Also, the E231-500 series trains will be retrofitted with Train Automatic Stopping Controller (TASC) by 2017 eventually allowing all trains to stop automatically at stations without the need to operate the brakes manually, as the (future) platform screen doors necessitate very accurate stopping positions. This will make the E231-500 series the first JR rolling stock to use TASC.[citation needed]


Set 502 in promotional Meiji Seika livery, October 2009

Promotional liveries[edit]

From 7 September to 4 December 2009, E231-500 series set 502 was reliveried in an all-over brown promotional livery to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Meiji Seika confectionery company.

From 16 January to 28 December 2013, a Yamanote Line E231-500 series set is scheduled to operate in an all-over uguisu light green livery to mark the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of 103 series EMUs in this colour scheme.[6]

E231-800 series[edit]

10-car E231-800 series, December 2009

Seven 10-car sets (K1 to K7) based at Mitaka Depot for use on Chūō-Sōbu Line and Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line interrunning services. These sets were delivered between January and May 2003, entering service on 1 May 2003.[2][7]

E231-900 series[edit]

E231-900 series on Chūō-Sōbu Line, October 2007

One 10-car set based at Mitaka Depot for use on Chūō-Sōbu Line services.

This was the prototype E231 series set, delivered in October 1998, classified as 209-950 series. It was reclassified as E231-900 series in June 2000.[2]

E231-1000 series[edit]

E231-1000 series suburban set on a Takasaki Line service, December 2008
SaRo E231-1000 bilevel Green car in a Tōkaidō Main Line set, April 2007

10- and 5-car suburban sets based at Oyama and Kōzu depots for use on the following lines.

JR East[edit]

JR Central[edit]

These trains are designed for longer-distance suburban services, and include toilets, transverse seating bays (in some cars only), and bilevel Green cars (10-car sets only). The Ito Line, Joetsu Line, and Gotemba Line mainly use 5-car sets, while the Shōnan-Shinjuku Line, Takasaki Line, Tōkaidō Line, Utsunomiya Line, and Yokosuka Line use 10- or 15- (10 + 5) car sets.


The E231-1000 series sets are formed as shown below with car 1 (11) at the Atami end and car 10 (15) at the Tokyo/Maebashi end.[8]

10-car U sets[edit]

Oyama-based sets U501–541, U584–591

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Designation Tc' M' M Tsd' Tsd T M' M T Tc
Numbering KuHa E230-8000 MoHa E230-3500 MoHa E231-1500 SaRo E230-1000 SaRo E231-1000 SaHa E231-6000 MoHa E230-1000 MoHa E231-1000 SaHa E231-1000 KuHa E231-6000

Cars 3 and 8 have one single-arm pantograph each. Cars 1, 5, and 6 have toilets (universal access in car 1).[8]

5-car U sets[edit]

Oyama-based sets U2–118

Car No. 11 12 13 14 15
Designation Tc' M' M T Tc
Numbering KuHa E230-6000 MoHa E230-1000 MoHa E231-1000 SaHa E231-3000 KuHa E231-8000

Car 13 has one single-arm pantograph. Car 11 has a toilet (universal access).[8]

10-car K sets[edit]

Kōzu-based sets K1–42

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Designation Tc' M' M Tsd' Tsd T T M' M Tc
Numbering KuHa E230-8000 MoHa E230-3500 MoHa E231-1500 SaRo E230-1000 SaRo E231-1000 SaHa E231-1000 SaHa E231-1000 MoHa E230-1500 MoHa E231-3500 KuHa E231-8500

Cars 3 and 9 have one single-arm pantograph each. Cars 1, 5, and 10 have toilets (universal access in cars 1 and 10).[8]

5-car S sets[edit]

Kōzu-based sets S1–34

Car No. 11 12 13 14 15
Designation Tc' M' M T Tc
Numbering KuHa E230-6000 MoHa E230-1000 MoHa E231-1000 SaHa E231-3000 KuHa E231-8000

Car 13 has one single-arm pantograph. Car 11 has a toilet (universal access).[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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. 
  2. ^ a b c d e JR電車編成表 2009夏 (JR EMU Formations - Summer 2009). Japan: JRR. June 2009. ISBN 978-4-330-06909-8. 
  3. ^ a b "山手線6扉車を順次4扉車に (Yamanote Line 6-door cars to be gradually replaced with 4-door cars)". Hobidas (in Japanese). Neko Publishing. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  4. ^ " 山手線電車100周年". Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Kōyūsha) 50 (586): p.57. February 2010. 
  5. ^ "山手線用E231系4ドア車配給輸送" (1 February 2010). Retrieved 1 February 2010. (Japanese)
  6. ^ "「みどりの山手線ラッピングトレイン」を運行します" ["Green Yamanote Line Train" to operate] (pdf). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "JR東日本 E231系800番代 5月1日に営業運転を開始 (JR East E231-800 series enters revenue service on 1 May)". Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 32 (231): p72. July 2003. 
  8. ^ a b c d e JR電車編成表 2012冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2012]. Japan: Kotsu Shinbunsha. October 2011. pp. 82–83. ISBN 978-4-330-25611-5. 

External links[edit]