E257 series

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E257 series
E257 series image
An E257 series train on a Chūō Line Azusa service, January 2008
In service 2001–Present
Manufacturer Hitachi, Kinki Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Family name A-train
Number built 249 vehicles
Number in service 249 vehicles
Formation 2/5/9 cars per trainset
Operator(s) JR East
Depot(s) Matsumoto, Makuhari
Line(s) served Chūō Main Line, Uchibō Line, Sotobō Line
Car length 21,000 mm (68 ft 11 in) (end cars)
20,500 mm (67 ft 3 in) (intermediate cars)
Maximum speed 130 km/h (80 mph)
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC overhead
Braking system(s) Regenerative brake, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, snow-resistant brake
Safety system(s) ATS-SN, ATS-P
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The E257 series (E257系) is a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated in Japan by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and built jointly by Hitachi, Kinki Sharyo, and Tokyu Car Corporation.


Two variants exist: the original E257-0 series for use on Chūō Main Line Azusa and Kaiji limited-express services, and the E257-500 series for use on Uchibō Line, Sotobō Line, Sōbu Main Line, Narita Line, and Kashima Line limited-express services.[1]

E257-0 series[edit]

This sub-series version was introduced on 1 December 2001, to replace the aging 183 and 189 series rolling stock on Chuo Main Line Azusa and Kaiji services. Based at Matsumoto depot, the fleet consists of sixteen 9-car sets (M101 to M116) with a full cab at the Matsumoto end and a gangwayed cab at the Tokyo end, and five 2-car "add-on" sets (M201 to M205) with a full cab at the Tokyo end and a shunting cab only at the Matsumoto end.

The type was the recipient of the 45th Blue Ribbon Award (2002) of the Japan Railfan Club.


Matsumoto-based E257 series trains were also used on the Ohayō Liner Shinjuku and Home Liner Odawara commuter services running on the Tokaido Main Line until 14 March 2008.

From 2016, the E257 series trains are scheduled to be replaced by new EMUs on Chuo Line limited express services and redeployed on other services, possibly Odoriko services.[2]


The 9-car sets (M101 to M116) are formed as follows.[3]

Car No. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Designation Tc M M' M T Ts M M' Tc'
Numbering KuHa E257-100 MoHa E257 MoHa E256 MoHa E257-1000 SaHa E257 SaRoHa E257 MoHa E257-100 MoHa E256-100 KuHa E256
  • Cars 4, 6, and 9 are each fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.

The 2-car sets (M201 to M205) are formed as follows.[3]

Car No. 1 2
Designation Tc Mc
Numbering KuHa E257 KuMoHa E257

Car 2 is fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.


E257-500 series[edit]

An E257-500 series unit on an Uchibō Line Sazanami service

The E257-500 sub-series version was delivered between July 2004 and October 2005, with the first sets entering service from 16 October 2004 on Uchibō Line Sazanami and Sotobō Line Wakashio limited-express services, replacing older 183 series rolling stock.[4] Based at Makuhari depot in Chiba Prefecture, the fleet consists of 19 5-car sets (NB01 to NB19).[3] Unlike the Chūō Line variant, these sets have gangways at both ends.


The 5-car E257-500 series sets (NB01 to NB19) are formed as follows.[3]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5
Designation Tc' M M' M Tc
Numbering KuHa E256-500 MoHa E257-1500 MoHa E256-500 MoHa E257-500 KuHa E257-500

Cars 2 and 4 are each fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.

Services operated[edit]


Standard-class seating, August 2011

The E257-500 series sets are monoclass, with standard-class accommodation only.


  1. ^ JR全車輌ハンドブック2009 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2009]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2009. pp. 149–151. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0. 
  2. ^ JR東日本 富士山観光見込み、中央線特急に新型車両 [JR East to introduce new trains on Chuo Line limited express services, eying Mt Fuji tourism]. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). Japan: Sports Nippon Newspapers. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d JR電車編成表 2011夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2011]. Japan: JRR. May 2010. ISBN 978-4-330-21211-1. 
  4. ^ "E257系500代が〈さざなみ〉〈わかしお〉で運転開始" [E257-500 series enter service on "Sazanami" and "Wakashio"]. Railway Journal. Japan: Tetsudō Journal. 39 (459): 102. January 2005. 

External links[edit]