101 series

The 101 series (101系, 101-kei) was a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) commuter train type introduced in 1957 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and formerly operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR-West). The last remaining trains were withdrawn in November 2003.

101 series
JNR 6-car set at Asaka Station on the Hanwa Line, 1978
In service1957–2003
Replaced72 series
Entered serviceDecember 1957
Number built1,535 vehicles
Number in serviceNone
Number preserved1 vehicle
Formation2, 3, 6, 7, 8 or 10 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JNR (1957–1987)
JR East (1987–2003)
JR-West (1987–1992)
Chichibu Railway (1986–2014)
Car body constructionSteel
Car length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,879 mm (9 ft 5.3 in)
Doors4 pairs per side
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Traction systemResistor control
Acceleration2.0 km/h/s (7-car formation)
3.2 km/h/s (all motored cars)
Deceleration3.0 km/h/s (service, 7-car set)
3.5 km/h/s (emergency)
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC
Current collection methodoverhead catenary
BogiesDT21, DT21T, TR64
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)


The prototype 101 series set was delivered in June 1957, as a 10-car (4+6-car) set classified as 90 series with all cars motored. Cab cars were numbered MoHa 90500 to 90503, and the intermediate cars were numbered MoHa 90000 to 90005. Production sets were delivered from March 1958, differing visually from the prototype in having exposed rain gutters along the top of each car. The 90 series was reclassified as 101 series from 1959, with the prototype set cars numbered in the 900 subseries. The prototype set was modified in 1962 to bring it up to production set standards.[1]

Lines used

101 series trains operated on the following lines.

Tokyo Area

Osaka Area

Private operators

A number of former 101 series trains were sold to the private railway operator Chichibu Railway in Saitama Prefecture in 1986, where they operated as 3-car 1000 series sets until March 2014.

Preserved examples


  • JR全車輛ハンドブック'93 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 1993]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 1993.
  • JR電車編成表 '98夏号 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 1998]. Japan: JRR. July 1998. ISBN 978-4-88283-029-0.
  1. プロトタイプの世界 - Prototype World. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbunsha. December 2005. OCLC 170056962.
  2. Railway Museum exhibit details Archived 6 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 28 April 2009. (in Japanese)
  3. "最後の「国鉄トラック電車」 JR西日本クモル145・クル144形とは まもなく還暦に(写真37枚)" [The last “JNR track train”, JR West Kumoru 145 and Kuru 144, will soon have their 60th birthday (37 photos)]. trafficnews.jp (in Japanese). Mediavague Co., ltd. 22 December 2017. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
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