|In service||1 March 1992– 16 March 2012|
|Manufacturer||Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo|
|Number built||1,104 vehicles (69 sets)|
|Number in service||None|
|Number preserved||2 vehicles|
|Number scrapped||1,102 vehicles|
|Formation||16 cars per trainset|
|Fleet numbers||J1–J61, F1–F9|
|Capacity||1,323 (200 Green + 1,123 Standard)|
|Line(s) served||Tokaido Shinkansen, Sanyo Shinkansen|
|Car body construction||Aluminium|
|Car length||25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in) (intermediate cars)|
26,050 mm (85 ft 6 in) (end cars)
|Width||3,380 mm (11 ft 1 in)|
|Height||4,440 mm (14 ft 7 in)|
|Doors||Two per side|
|Maximum speed||270 km/h (170 mph)|
|Traction system||40 x 300 kW (400 hp)|
|Power output||12 MW (16,000 hp)|
|Acceleration||1.6 km/(h⋅s) (0.99 mph/s)|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV AC, 60 Hz, overhead catenary|
|Safety system(s)||ATC-1, ATC-NS|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The 300 series (300系, Sanbyaku-kei) was a Japanese high-speed Shinkansen train type, with a top operational speed of 270 km/h (170 mph), which operated on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines in Japan between 1992 and 2012. When first introduced, they were used on the fastest Nozomi services, being capable of 270 km/h (170 mph). As more were delivered (66 trains by 1998) they replaced earlier units on Hikari service and allowed the thus displaced 100 series units to finally in turn displace 0 series units on almost all services.
With the introduction of newer 700 series and N700 series equipment, the 300 series sets were gradually demoted to slower Hikari and Kodama services, and were completely withdrawn from Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen services by the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012.
The front-end styling of these units consisted of a 'curved wedge', replacing the aircraft-style nose-cones of previous Shinkansen trains. The furthest forward point was the very bottom of the pilot. They were painted brilliant white with a medium-thick blue stripe beneath the windows.
They were only formed as sixteen-car sets and had no restaurant cars, though they did originally feature two refreshment counters (later removed).
Technically, they are notable for being the first Shinkansen sets to employ three-phase AC traction motors instead of direct current units, as well as new bolsterless bogies to reduce weight.
The 300 series was awarded the Laurel Prize in May 1993.
The pre-series unit, J0, numbered in the 300-9000 series, was delivered on 8 March 1990, and underwent extensive testing and endurance running before the start of the new Nozomi services in March 1992. In the early hours of 1 March 1991, this set recorded a speed of 325.7 km/h on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Maibara and Kyōto, a Japanese national speed record at the time.
The set was modified to production standards in March 1993, becoming set "J1", but it differed from the production units in a number of ways. Visually, the driving cab had a different windscreen design, different headlight arrangement, and flared side panels over the front bogies. The prototype set was initially fitted with five pantographs, but this was later reduced to two in line with modifications to the production fleet. Limited water tank capacity meant that the unit was not capable of running return trips from Tokyo to Hakata, and was normally restricted to Tokyo to Osaka/Okayama/Hiroshima workings.
From 2001 onwards, this unit was converted for use as a JR Central test train for testing new digital ATC equipment on the Tokaido Shinkansen. It was finally withdrawn in March 2007. All cars except one end car, 322-9001, were cut up.
60 16-car sets (excluding pre-series set J1) operated by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central). These sets were delivered between February 1992 and October 1998.
In December 1998, set J59 was fitted experimentally with new 700 series style single-arm pantographs and fairings to reduce noise and air resistance. Following testing, JR Central subsequently fitted new pantographs to all of its sets, with modifications completed by late 2002.
In October 2004, JR Central announced plans for ride improvement modifications to its 300 series fleet involving the addition of semi-active vibration control units to seven cars out of the total of sixteen in each set (end cars 1 and 16, pantograph cars 6 and 12, and Green cars 8 to 10), and also new non-linear air suspension on all cars in each set. The new secondary suspension offered firmer support against lateral movement. The entire fleet operated by JR Central received the modifications by February 2007.
With the entry into service of new N700 series trains, withdrawals of production 300 series sets began in July 2007 with the withdrawal of set J14.
The remaining fleet of JR Central 300 series sets were removed from regular scheduled services from 1 February 2012, and were completely withdrawn following the final runs on 16 March 2012.
The 16-car J sets were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Hakata end.
Cars 6 and 12 each had one single-arm pantograph.
These were 16-car 300 series sets operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West). A total of nine sets were delivered between December 1992 and September 1993.
Withdrawals of the JR-West F sets began in July 2011, with the withdrawal of set F5. The last remaining sets were withdrawn by spring 2012 and replaced by eight 700 series "C" sets transferred from JR Central.
The 16-car F sets were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Hakata end.
Cars 6 and 12 each had one single-arm pantograph.