157 series

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157 series
A 157 series EMU on an imperial train working, June 1978
In service September 1959 –1980
Number built 32 vehicles
Number in service None
Number preserved 1 vehicle
Operator(s) JNR
Car body construction Steel
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC
Current collection method Overhead wire
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 157 series (157系?) was a Japanese DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced on limited express services in 1959 by Japanese National Railways (JNR).


The 157 series EMUs were first introduced by JNR on Nikkō semi express services between Tokyo and Nikkō from 22 September 1959 to counter competition from the private company Tobu Railway, which also operated trains to Nikkō.[1] They were also used on Chusenji services between Shinjuku and Nikkō, and Nasuno services between Ueno and Kuroiso.[2]

157 series EMUs were also introduced on seasonal Hibiki services on the Tokaido Main Line from 21 November 1959, and were later used on Amagi and Soyokaze services.[1]

Fleet details[edit]

  • KuMoHa 157-1 – 10: Driving motor cars[3]
  • MoHa 156-1 – 10: Intermediate motor cars, with one pantograph[3]
  • SaHa 157-1 – 5: Intermediate trailer cars[3]
  • SaRo 157-1 – 6: Intermediate "Green" (first class) trailer cars[3]
  • KuRo 157-1: Imperial train car (see below)[3]

External livery[edit]

Initially painted in the JNR livery of beige ("Cream No. 4") and crimson ("Red No. 11"), the red colour was later changed to a slightly darker shade ("Red No. 2") when the sets were modified with the addition of air-conditioning.[2]

KuRo 157-1 imperial train car[edit]

The 157 series fleet included a dedicated imperial train car, built by Kawasaki Sharyo (present-day Kawasaki Heavy Industries) and delivered in June 1960.[4] Numbered KuRo 157-1, the car could be inserted into 157 series formations for use on imperial train workings.[5] One end had a gangwayed driving cab based on the 153 series EMU design, although the car was normally sandwiched in the middle of a 157 series formation, and was only very rarely used with the driving cab leading.[4] In 1979, the car was modified for use in conjunction with 183 series EMUs, with the first official working on 2 July 1980.[4] From March 1985, it was repainted in cream with a green stripe for use in conjunction with 185 series EMUs.[4]

The last official operation of the car was on 8 September 1993.[4]

Following retirement, the KuRo 157-1 car remained in storage at Tamachi Depot for many years, but was moved to Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre in the early hours of 2 December 2012.[6]


The first 157 series set was delivered in August 1959, and entered service on Nikkō semi express services between Tokyo and Nikkō from 22 September 1959.[2] Air-conditioning was added to the trains from 1962.[7]

With the exception of the special imperial train car KuRo 157-1, the entire fleet of 157 series trains was withdrawn by 1980.[2]


  1. ^ a b Ogano, Minoru (March 2011). 新幹線・特急大図鑑2011 [Shinkansen & Limited Express Directory 2011]. Japan: JTB Publishing. p. 132. ISBN 978-4-533-08193-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d Fukuhara, Shunichi (March 2013). "国鉄157系を振り返る" [Looking back at the JNR 157 series]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 53 (623): p.97–101. 
  3. ^ a b c d e 写真とイラストで見る国鉄急行型電車のすべて [JNR Express EMUs in pictures]. Japan: Neko Publishing Ltd. 29 November 2013. p. 36-39. ISBN 978-4-7770-1532-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Okada, Seiichi (January 2007). "1号御料車とクロ157" [Imperial Carriage No. 1 and KuRo 157]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese) (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 47 (549): p.9–31. 
  5. ^ JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. p. 140. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0. 
  6. ^ "12/2, クロ157-1・クモヤ145-114が東京総合車両センターへ" [KuRo 157-1 and KuMoYa 145-114 moved to Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre]. Japan Railfan Magazine (Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd.) 53 (622): p.162. February 2013. 
  7. ^ Teramoto, Mitsuteru (July 2001). 国鉄・JR列車名大辞典 [JNR & JR Train Name Encyclopedia]. Tokyo, Japan: Chuoshoin Publishing Co., Ltd. pp. 424–425. ISBN 4-88732-093-0.