E257 series

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

E257 series
E257 series image
An E257-0 series train on a Chuo Line Azusa service in January 2008
In service2001–Present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kinki Sharyo, and Tokyu Car Corporation
Family nameA-train
Replaced183/189 series, 185-0 series
Entered service1 December 2001
Number built249 vehicles
Number in service249 vehicles
Formation2/5/9 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Matsumoto, Makuhari, Omiya
Line(s) servedE257-0 (2001-2019): E257-500 (2004-): E257-2000/-2500 (2020-):
Car length21 m (68 ft 11 in) (end cars)
20.5 m (67 ft 3 in) (intermediate cars)
Maximum speed130 km/h (80 mph)
Traction systemIGBT-VVVF (Mitsubishi Electric)
Traction motors3-phase AC squirrel-cage induction motors (Mitsubishi Electric)
Acceleration0.56 m/s2 (1.8 ft/s2)
Deceleration1.4 m/s2 (4.6 ft/s2)
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead lines
Current collection methodPantograph
Braking system(s)Regenerative brake, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, snow-resistant brake
Safety system(s)ATS-SN, ATS-P
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)


Three variants exist: the original E257-0 series for use on Chūō Main Line Azusa and Kaiji limited-express services until 16 March 2019 (displaced by E353 series EMUs), the E257-500 series for use on Chiba area limited express services (Uchibo Line Sazanami, Sotobo Line Wakashio, Sōbu Main Line Shiosai, and Narita and Kashima Lines Ayame),[1] and the E257-2000/-2500 used for Odoriko services modified from former E257-0 and -500 series trains.[citation needed]

E257-0 seriesEdit

This sub-series 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 consisted 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 at the Matsumoto end.

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

From 2018, the E257 series trains were replaced by E353 series EMUs on Chuo Line Azusa and Kaiji limited express services.[2] On 16 March 2019, all E257 series trains stopped operating on regular Chuo Line limited expresses. The trains were modified into E257-2000s and redeployed on Tokaido Main Line Odoriko services from 14 March 2020. Several sets are still under refurbishment and three sets will be retained as E257-0 to be used on charter and extra services.


Former operationsEdit

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


The nine-car sets (M101 to M116) were 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 were each fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.

The two-car sets (M201 to M205) were 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 seriesEdit

An E257-500 series unit on an Uchibo 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 Uchibo Line Sazanami and Sotobo 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.

Due to the reduction of the Chiba area limited express services, several trains are being used for the Chuo and Fujikyuko Line Fuji Excursion services and other charter and extra services. In addition to these, 4 sets are planned for conversion into E257-2500 to be used on Tōkaidō Main Line Odoriko limited express services.[5]


The five-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 operatedEdit


E257-500 series standard-class seating in August 2011

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

E257-2000/2500 seriesEdit

E257-2000 series set NA-03 on a test run
E257-2500 series set NC-31 on a test run

The E257-2000 and -2500 series are refurbished versions of the E257-0 and -500 series respectively. A total of 13 9-car E257-2000 sets and 4 5-car E257-2500 sets are due to be introduced for the Odoriko limited express services on the Tōkaidō Main Line.[5] The first E257-2000 set, converted from E257-0 set M112 at Nagano General Rolling Stock Centre, appeared in March 2019.[6] On 14 March 2020, two round-trips of the formerly 185 series-operated Odoriko services were replaced by E257-2000s.[7] From spring 2021, the E257-2000/2500 series will also operate on the Shōnan limited express.

E257-5000/5500 SeriesEdit

A Moha E256-5105 Car In Nagano Works

JR East has Announced the Refurbishment of Further 3 E257-0 Series Sets: M-105, M-107 & M-111. Little Is Known About The Subseries, as They Have Not Been Yet Introduced, The Trainsets will Have the Unlivered Aluminium Livery with The Black Stripe & Green Accents Based on E257-2000/2500 Series Livery.[8]


  1. ^ 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. pp. 149–151. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  2. ^ 来年3月に現行車両「E351系」引退 スーパーあずさ、新型に [E351 series to be retired by next spring with new trains for "Super Azusa" services]. Sankei Photo (in Japanese). Japan: The Sankei Shimbun & Sankei Digital. 29 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  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. 39 (459): 102. January 2005.
  5. ^ a b "特急「踊り子」にリニューアル車両を順次投入します" (PDF). JR East. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  6. ^ "E257系2000番台が配給輸送される" [E257-2000 series distributed and transported]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  7. ^ "特急「踊り子」、E257系リニューアル車両3/14デビューへ ダイヤ発表 ヘッドラインニュース 鉄道新聞". 鉄道新聞 (in Japanese). Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  8. ^ "さざなみ減便とE257系5000番台・E257系5500番台誕生". ameblo.jp (in Japanese). 14 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.

External linksEdit