201 series
A 201 series train in April 2019
In service1979–present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Replaced101 series
103 series
Constructed1979 (201-900 series prototype)
Entered service20 August 1979
Refurbished2003–2007 (JR-West)
Number built1,018 vehicles
Number in service132 vehicles
Number preserved1 vehicle
Number scrapped885 vehicles
SuccessorE231 series, E233 series, 321 series, 323 series
Lines servedYamatoji Line, Sakurai Line, Wakayama Line, Osaka Higashi Line
Car body constructionSteel
Car length20 m (65 ft 7 in)
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph) (service)
110 km/h (68 mph) (design speed)
Traction systemThyristor chopper
Traction motorsMT60 (150kW)
Acceleration2.5 km/(h⋅s) (1.6 mph/s)
Deceleration3.5 km/(h⋅s) (2.2 mph/s)
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead
Current collector(s)PS21 diamond-shaped pantograph
Braking system(s)Regenerative brake, electro-pneumatic brake
Safety system(s)ATS-S, ATS-SN, ATS-SW, ATS-B, ATS-P
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 201 series (201系, 201-kei) is a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) commuter train type introduced in 1979 by Japanese National Railways (JNR). It has been operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) since 1987, and was formerly operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) from 1987 until 20 June 2011.

It was the first JNR train to use electronic chopper control.[1]

The prototype unit on public display at Harajuku Station in Tokyo, 13 May 1979. Next to it, a 103 series train can be seen passing through


The 201 series stock has been used on a large number of lines.


Former operations


JR East

Shikisai train

A 4-car 201 series set (W1) was modified in 2001 by JR East to become the special Shikisai (四季彩) tourist train, entering service on the Ōme Line from 4 August 2001. This train featured panorama windows and transverse seating bays on one side of the train only. It was repainted into a new livery in June 2005.[4] The train was withdrawn from regular service at the end of June 2009, with a number of special finale runs scheduled for July.[5]

Preserved examples


On the evening of 12 October 1997, A 6-car Chuo Line 201 series trainset collided with a 12-car Super Azusa E351 series train which was passing through the Otsuki Station with a 2-minute delay at a running speed of 105 km/h (65 mph), while on the right side which is a damaged 201 series trainset which collided at a speed of 25 km/h (16 mph), the Super Azusa train derailed which has been led to decoupling of 4 cars (Car No. 5 to 9), while the last which had been rolled over to the ground. The accident resulted in 78 injuries but no recorded deaths. The main cause of this accident was about the shunting or decoupling of the two 201 series trainsets which was composed of 4 cars for Ome Line & 6 cars for Chuo Line Rapid, the 4-car set remained in Otsuki, while the 6-car set was leaving from the station for turnover, but unfortunately, there was a delayed Super Azusa train which was coming behind to the main line, resulting in collision.[7]

After this incident, the management of JR East decided to abolish the shunting work that is required the existing ATS to be turned off, and they completely repaired the damanged trainset to let them back from service.[8]


  • JR全車両ハンドブック2006 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2006]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2006.
  1. ^ "201系四半世紀の歩み". Japan Railfan Magazine. 45 (526). February 2005.
  2. ^ JR East news release: "「さよなら中央線201系」キャンペーン<第2弾>を開催します" (25 February 2010). Retrieved 17 June 2010. (in Japanese)
  3. ^ 京葉線の201系が定期運用を終える [Keiyō Line 201 series withdrawn from regular service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  4. ^ JR電車編成表 2009夏 [JR EMU Formations – Summer 2009]. Japan: JRR. June 2009. ISBN 978-4-330-06909-8.
  5. ^ Japan Railfan Magazine: "201系「四季彩」,青梅線定期運用を終了" (28 June 2009) Archived 30 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 28 June 2009. (in Japanese)
  6. ^ "12月18日開催 JR東日本八王子支社「豊田車両センター201系展示撮影会」の参加者募集". Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 8 December 2021. Archived from the original on 10 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  7. ^ "怒り抑え代替バスへ 朝の足奪われ混乱 大月の列車衝突事故". 朝日新聞・朝刊・山梨. 14 October 1997. JR東日本は十三日の始発から、甲府 – 塩山、塩山 – 甲斐大和、四方津 – 高尾間でそれぞれ折り返し運転した。塩山 – 四方津間は七十二台の代替バスを走らせたが、... – 聞蔵IIビジュアルにて閲覧:負傷者の詳細についても記載がある。
  8. ^ 災害情報センター・日外アソシエーツ, ed. (2007). 鉄道・航空機事故全史. 日外アソシエーツ. p. 10. ISBN 978-4-8169-2043-1.