251 series

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251 series
A 251 series train on a Tōkaidō Main Line Super View Odoriko service in July 2007
In serviceApril 1990 – March 2020
ManufacturerKawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo
Entered service28 April 1990
Number built40 vehicles (4 sets)
Number in serviceNone
SuccessorE261 series
Formation10 cars per trainset
Fleet numbersRE1–4
Operator(s)JR East
Line(s) servedTokaido Main Line
Car body constructionSteel
Car length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,950 mm (9 ft 8 in)
DoorsPlug doors: 1 per side
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Traction systemResistor control + field system superimposed field excitation control
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead catenary
Safety system(s)ATS-SN, ATS-P
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 251 series (251系) was a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on Tokaido Main Line Super View Odoriko limited express services in Japan between April 1990[1] and March 2020.


The 251 series sets were primarily used on Super View Odoriko limited express services from Tokyo, Ikebukuro, and Shinjuku to Izukyu Shimoda.[2]

Since the 13 March 2004 timetable revision, 251 series sets were also used on the weekday morning Ohayō Liner Shinjuku 26 and weekday evening Home Liner Odawara 23 services.[2]


The four sets, numbered RE1 to RE4 and based at Tamachi Depot in Tokyo, were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Izukyū-Shimoda end, and car 10 at the Tokyo and Shinjuku end.[2]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Designation Tscd' Tsd M' M1 M'1 M M' M T Tcd
Numbering KuRo 250 SaRo 251 MoHa 250 MoHa 251-100 MoHa 250-100 MoHa 251 MoHa 250 MoHa 251 SaHa 251 KuHa 251

Cars 4, 6, and 8 were each fitted with one PS27 scissors type pantograph.[2]



Set RE2 in original livery in April 2003

Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo,[3] the first two sets were introduced from 28 April 1990.[4] These were followed by two more sets in 1992.[1]

The 251 series was awarded the 1991 Laurel Prize, presented annually by the Japan Railfan Club.[5] A formal presentation ceremony was held at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on 1 March 1992.[6]

The fleet underwent a programme of refurbishment between December 2002 and March 2004, which included the addition of new seating, and repainting the sets into a new colour scheme.[2]


From the start of the revised timetable on 14 March 2020, the 251 series sets were replaced by new E261 series sets on services between Tokyo and Izukyu-Shimoda, with the Super View Odoriko brand being replaced by new deluxe Saphir Odoriko services. The last 251 series Super View Odoriko limited express run took place on 13 March 2020.


  1. ^ a b Jēāru zensharyō handobukku: Rail Magazine 2009 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 2011夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2011]. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. May 2010. p. 79. ISBN 978-4-330-21211-1.
  3. ^ Saka, Masahiro (March 2014). JR第1世代の車両・現況と概要 [JR 1st-generation rolling stock: Current situation and overview]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). 43 (359): 22.
  4. ^ JR特急10年の歩み [10 Years of JR Limited Express Trains] (in Japanese). Japan: Kousai Shuppansha. May 1997. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-4-330-45697-3.
  5. ^ ブルーリボン賞・ローレル賞 選定車両一覧 [Blue Ribbon Award & Laurel Prize Winner List]. jrc.gr.jp (in Japanese). Japan: Japan Railfan Club. 29 May 2012. Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  6. ^ 251系ローレル賞受賞 [251 series awarded Laurel Prize]. Japan Railfan Magazine. 32 (373): 34. February 2013.

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