E4 Series Shinkansen

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E4 series
E4+E3 1000 omiya.jpg
E4 series at Ōmiya Station, March 2011
In service 1997–Present
Manufacturer Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Family name Max
Constructed 1997–2003
Scrapped 2013–
Number built 208 vehicles (26 sets)
Number in service 192 vehicles (24 sets) (as of 1 October 2013)
Number scrapped 16 vehicles (2 sets)
Formation 8 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers P1–P22, P51–P52, P81–P82
Capacity 817 (54 Green + 763 Standard)
Operator JR East
Depot(s) Niigata
Line(s) served Joetsu Shinkansen
Car body construction Aluminium
Car length End cars: 25,700 mm (84 ft 4 in),
Intermediate cars: 25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in)
Width 3,380 mm (11 ft 1 in)
Doors 2 per side
Maximum speed 240 km/h (150 mph)
Weight 428 t
Traction system 16 x 420 kW (560 hp) AC traction motors
Power output 6.72 MW (9,010 hp)
Acceleration 1.65 km/h/s
Deceleration 2.69 km/h/s (service),
4.04 km/h/s (emergency)
Power supply overhead catenary
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Current collection method Pantograph
UIC classification 2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'
Braking system(s) Pneumatic and Regenerative
Safety system(s) ATC-2, DS-ATC
Multiple working 400/E3-1000/E3-2000 series
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The E4 series (E4系?) is a high-speed shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan. They were the second series of completely bi-level Shinkansen trainsets to be built in Japan (the other being the E1 series). They operate on the Tōhoku and Jōetsu Shinkansen, and occasionally on the Nagano Shinkansen. E4 series trains feature double-decker cars to accommodate additional commuter traffic around Tokyo and other urban areas.[1] They were often coupled to 400 series trains on the Tōhoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Fukushima before the latter retired in April 2010.

Two eight-car sets can be coupled together for extra capacity: a sixteen-car E4 series formation trainset carries a total of 1,634 seated passengers - the highest-capacity high-speed rail trainset in the world.[2]

26 units were built between 1997 and 2003. As with the earlier E1 series trains, maximum speed is 240 km/h (150 mph).


Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Designation T1c M1 M2 T Tk Mp Ms Tpsc
Numbering E453-100 E455-100 E456-100 E458 E459-200 E455 E446 E444
Seating capacity 75 133 119 124 110 122 91 43

Cars 4 and 6 are each equipped with a PS201 pantograph.[3]

Fleet list[edit]

The build details are as shown below.[4] As of 1 October 2013, 24 sets are still in service.[5]

Set No. Manufacturer Delivered Reliveried Withdrawn
P1 Kawasaki HI 8 October 1997
P2 Hitachi 20 October 1997 - 3 July 2013[5]
P3 Kawasaki HI 27 October 1997 - 26 July 2013[5]
P4 Hitachi 10 February 1999
P5 Kawasaki HI 22 February 1999 April 2014
P6 Hitachi 15 March 1999
P7 Hitachi 14 April 1999
P8 Kawasaki HI 31 May 1999
P9 Hitachi 21 June 1999
P10 Kawasaki HI 12 July 1999
P11 Hitachi 26 July 2000
P12 Hitachi 28 August 2000
P13 Kawasaki HI 11 September 2000
P14 Hitachi 13 October 2000
P15 Kawasaki HI 16 October 2000
P16 Hitachi 27 November 2000
P17 Hitachi 21 March 2001
P18 Kawasaki HI 4 June 2001
P19 Kawasaki HI 25 June 2001
P20 Hitachi 16 July 2001
P21 Kawasaki HI 9 October 2001
P22 Kawasaki HI 20 November 2001
P51 Kawasaki HI 31 January 2001
P52 Kawasaki HI 20 February 2001
P81 Hitachi 30 July 2003
P82 Kawasaki HI 20 November 2003


Sets P51 and P52, delivered in January and February 2001 were designed to cope with the steep gradients of the Nagano Shinkansen for use on services to Karuizawa.[3]

Sets P81 and P82, delivered in July and November 2003 were designed to cope with the steep gradients of the Nagano Shinkansen, and are also capable of operating under 50 Hz and 60 Hz overhead power supplies for use on services to Nagano.[3]


As with the earlier E1 series, the upper deck saloons of non-reserved cars 1 to 3 are arranged 3+3 with no individual armrests, and do not recline. The lower decks of these cars, and the reserved-seating saloons in cars 4 to 8 have regular 2+3 seating. The Green car saloons on the upper decks of cars 7 to 8 have 2+2 seating. The trains have a total seating capacity of 817 passengers.[6]


The first E4 series set, P1, was delivered to Sendai Depot on 8 October 1997, with the first sets entering revenue-earning service on the Tohoku Shinkansen from 20 December 1997.[3]

All cars were made no-smoking from the start of the revised timetable on 18 March 2007.[3]

In March 2011, it was announced that the entire E4 series fleet would be withdrawn by around 2016.[7]

In September 2012, E4 series were entirely withdrawn from Tohoku Shinkansen services, and all allocated for use on Joetsu Shinkansen services only.[5]

Livery change[edit]

The first set to be reliveried, P5, in April 2014

From 2014, the fleet of 24 sets still in service began to be repainted, receiving a new livery identical to that previously carried by the E1 series trains, with a Toki (Crested Ibis) pink stripe separating the white on the upper body and blue on the lower body. The first reliveried set, P5, was returned to service in early April 2014,[8] with the entire fleet treated by the end of fiscal 2015.[9]


Withdrawals started in July 2013, with sets P2 and P3.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ JR全車輌ハンドブック2006 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2006]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2006. ISBN 4-7770-0453-8. 
  2. ^ 鉄道のテクノロジーVol1:新幹線 [Railway Technology Vol.1: Shinkansen]. Japan: Sanei Mook. April 2009. ISBN 978-4-7796-0534-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e JR電車編成表 2010夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2010]. Japan: JRR. May 2010. p. 9. ISBN 978-4-330-14310-1. 
  4. ^ JR電車編成表 2013夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2013]. Japan: JRR. May 2013. p. 11. ISBN 978-4-330-37313-3. 
  5. ^ a b c d e JR電車編成表 2014冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2014]. Japan: JRR. 1 December 2013. p. 11. ISBN 978-4-330-42413-2. 
  6. ^ 新幹線NAVI [Shinkansen Navi]. Japan: Ikaros Publishing. July 2004. ISBN 4-87149-562-0. 
  7. ^ Saito, Masatoshi (9 March 2011). JR東:2階建て新幹線「Max」5年後全廃 老朽化進み [JR East to withdraw all "Max" double-decker trains within 5 years]. Mainichi jp (in Japanese). Japan: The Mainichi Newspapers. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "E4系P編成が塗装変更を実施" [E4 series P sets repainted]. RM News (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "上越新幹線(E4系)のエクステリアデザインが生まれ変わります!" [Exterior design of Joetsu Shinkansen E4 series to be updated] (pdf). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company - Niigata Division. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 

External links[edit]