E257 series
White train with black front and colorful sides
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
SuccessorE353 series
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)
Doors2 per side
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 collector(s)Pantograph
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)
Wikipedia blueribbon W.PNG
This train won the 45th Blue Ribbon Award in 2002.

The E257 series (E257系, E257-kei) 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.


Four 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] the E257-2000/-2500 used for Odoriko services modified from former E257-0 and -500 series trains, and the E257-5000/5500 from former E257-0 and -500 trains for use on additional and charter services.[citation needed]

E257-0 series

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 Main Line Azusa and Kaiji limited express services.[2] From the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2019, E257 series trains were no longer used on regular Chuo Main Line limited express services. The trains were modified into E257-2000 series trainsets and redeployed on Tokaido Main Line Odoriko services from 14 March 2020. Several sets are still under refurbishment and three sets which has been reserved to be used on charter and extra services were modified into E257-5000s.


Former operations

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

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

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


E257-500 series

E257-500 series set NB-18
E257-500 series set NB-18

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, with further 5 sets to be converted to E257-5500 for use on additional 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 operated


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

E257-2000/2500 series

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.[needs update]

E257-5000/5500 series

E257-5500 series OM-51 set, January 2022
E257-5500 series OM-51 set, January 2022

Three E257-0 series sets and five -500 series sets were refurbished and designated as E257-5000 and -5500 series respectively for use on additional and charter services. The refurbishments saw a new front head, which is similar to the -2000/2500 series, and new green-accented livery. Interiors were much retained, with more luggage space and curtains change. The first E257-5000 set, OM-91 (former M-105), first appeared in May 2021 and entered service on 12 August 2021.[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. ^ 鉄道ファンの待合室 (12 August 2021). "【内装も小変化】E257系5000番台さざなみ91号でデビュー!案内表示は前面のみ?". 鉄道ファンの待合室 (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 August 2021.