209 series

The 209 series (209系) is an electric multiple unit (EMU) commuter train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in the Tokyo area of Japan since 1993.

209 series
A Keihin-Tohoku Line 209 series train in October 2006
ManufacturerJR East, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Tokyu Car Corporation
Replaced103 series, 113 series, 211 series
Entered serviceJanuary 1993
Number built1,046 vehicles
Number in service508 vehicles (as of 2018)[1]
Number preserved1 vehicle
Formation4/6/8/10 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Kawagoe, Keiyo, Makuhari, Nakahara, Toyoda
Line(s) servedHachikō Line, Kashima Line, Kawagoe Line, Keiyō Line, Musashino Line, Narita Line, Sōbu Main Line, Sotobō Line, Togane Line, Chuo Line Rapid, Uchibō Line
Car body constructionStainless steel
Car length20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width2,870 mm (9 ft 5 in) (2,966 mm (9 ft 8.8 in) for 209-500 series)
Doors4/6 pairs per side
Maximum speed110 km/h (70 mph)
Traction systemVariable frequency (GTO, IGBT)
Power output1,520 kW (6 motors)
Acceleration2.5 km/h/s or 3.3 km/h/s
Deceleration4.0 km/h/s (4.5 km/h/s for emergency brake)
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead
Current collection methodPS28 diamond-shaped pantograph
PS21 diamond-shaped pantograph (209-1000 series)
PS33A single-arm pantograph (209-500 series)
Braking system(s)Regenerative brake, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes
Safety system(s)ATS-P, ATS-SN, ATC, Digital ATC
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The series was introduced in 1993 to replace the aging 103 series stock on the Keihin-Tohoku and Negishi lines. The concept of the 209 series was to create a low-cost, minimal lifespan train (approximately 15 years) that would be replaced rather than rebuilt when they became life-expired.[2]

The 209 series was the first of the "New series trains" (新系列電車, Shin-keiretsu densha), and served as the basis for the E501, E217, 701, and E127 series rolling stock, as well as the E231 series stock, which in turn became the blueprint for successive trains developed by JR East and other railway companies in Japan.


209-0 series

The original full-production version introduced on both the Keihin-Tohoku (ten-car sets) and Nambu (six-car sets) lines in 1993. Six-door SaHa 208 cars were inserted into the Keihin-Tohoku Line sets in 1995.

The 209 series trains on the Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi lines were replaced by new E233 series trains from autumn 2007, with the last sets withdrawn by 24 January 2010.[4] A large number of these units were subsequently rebuilt as 209-2000/2100 series four- and six-car sets for use in the Chiba area.


Nambu Line 6-car sets

The former Nambu Line six-car sets were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Kawasaki end.[5]

Car No.123456
Numbering KuHa 209-68MoHa 209-135MoHa 208-135MoHa 209-136MoHa 208-136KuHa 208-68

Cars 2 and 4 were each equipped with one PS28 lozenge-type pantograph.[5]

Keihin-Tohoku Line 10-car sets

The former Keihin-Tohoku Line ten-car sets were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Ofuna (southern) end.[6]

Car No.12345678910
Designation Tc'M'MTTT'M'MTTc
Numbering KuHa 208MoHa 208MoHa 209SaHa 209SaHa 209SaHa 208MoHa 208MoHa 209SaHa 209KuHa 209
  • Cars 3 and 8 were each equipped with one PS28 pantograph.[6]
  • Car 6 was a "6-door" car with six pairs of doors on each side.[6]

209-500 series

This sub-series represented a stop-gap for use from 1998 on the Chuo-Sobu Line until the full-production E231 series trains were delivered. The 17 ten-car sets differ noticeably from the other 209 series variants in having 2,966 mm wide cars (compared to 2,870 mm for earlier flat-sided stock), as well as LED destination indicators, replacing the earlier roller blind type. While externally similar in appearance to the later E231 series sets, the 209-500 series are distinguishable by their white cab fronts and lack of six-door cars. Five sets were transferred to the Keihin-Tōhoku Line, and, from October 2008, these were modified (with ATS-P/SN instead of ATC), repainted, and transferred to the Keiyo Line following the introduction of new E233 series trains. From September 2010, three former Keiyo Line sets were reduced to eight cars and reliveried for use on the Musashino Line, entering service from 4 December 2010.[5] From 2018, some Chuo-Sobu Line sets were converted to 4-car 209-3500 series sets for use on Kawagoe Line and Hachiko Line services,[7] while others were reduced to 8 cars and reallocated to the Musashino Line, and were fully withdrawn from the Chuo-Sobu Line from 19 April 2019.[8]


10-car sets

As of 1 October 2016, 13 ten-car sets (C501 to C512 and C516) were allocated to Mitaka Depot for use on the Chuo-Sobu Line, and one set (34) was allocated to Keiyo Depot for use on the Keiyo Line.[1] These sets are formed as follows with four motored ("M") cars and six non-powered trailer ("T") cars.[1]

Designation TcTMM'TTTMM'Tc'
Numbering KuHa 209-500SaHa 209-500MoHa 209-500MoHa 208-500SaHa 209-500SaHa 209-500SaHa 209-500MoHa 209-500MoHa 208-500KuHa 208-500

The two MoHa 209 cars each have one pantograph (lozenge type on sets C501 to C509, and single-arm type on sets C510 to C516 and 34).[1]

8-car sets

As of 1 October 2016, three eight-car sets (M71 to M73) were allocated to Keiyo Depot for use on Musashino and Keiyo Line services.[1] These sets are formed as follows with four motored ("M") cars and four non-powered trailer ("T") cars.[1] Car 1 is at the Tokyo end.[1]

Car No. 12345678
Designation TcMM'TTMM'Tc'
Numbering KuHa 209-500MoHa 209-500MoHa 208-500SaHa 209-500SaHa 209-500MoHa 209-500MoHa 208-500KuHa 208-500

The two MoHa 209 cars (cars 2 and 6) each have one single-arm pantograph.[1] Car 4 is designated as a mildly air-conditioned car.[1]

209-900/910/920 series

Three ten-car prototypes were built in 1992 for testing and passenger evaluation on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line, initially classified as 901 series. Set A was built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, set B by Tokyu Car Corporation, and set C was built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and JR East's Ōfuna factory (cars 4 and 5). The three sets incorporated a number of different design features for evaluation, but were converted in 1994 to bring them in line with the full-production specifications. Set A became 209-900 series, set B became 209-910 series, and set C became 209-920 series. They differed from the full-production 209-0 series sets in not having six-door SaHa208 cars.[9]

209-910 series set 91 was withdrawn in December 2006, and the last of the three prototype sets, set 90, was withdrawn in August 2007.[10] Car KuHa 209-901 from the original 901 series set A was stored at Nagano Works,[11] and later preserved at Tokyo General Rolling Stock Center.


Car No.12345678910
Numbering[12] KuHa 900MoHa 900MoHa 901SaHa 901SaHa 901SaHa 901MoHa 900MoHa 901SaHa 901KuHa 901

209-950 series

This was the original classification given to the prototype E231 series 10-car set delivered in October 1998. It was reclassified as E231-900 series in June 2000 following conversion to the full-production E231 standard.[13]

209-1000 series

Two 10-car sets (81 and 82) were delivered from Tokyu Car Corporation in August and September 1999, entering service from 4 December 1999 on Joban Line and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line inter-running services. Based on the 209-0 series, these trains have end doors for use in emergencies inside tunnels. These sets were based at JR East's Matsudo depot. These train sets have since been withdrawn from the Joban Line in October 2018 and reallocated to the Chūō Line (Rapid) in December 2018, being based at JR East's Toyoda Depot after the reallocation. Operations officially started on the Chuo Line Rapid Service in March 2019.


Car No.12345678910
Numbering KuHa 209-1000MoHa 209-1000MoHa 208-1000SaHa 209-1000MoHa 209-1000MoHa 208-1000SaHa 209-1000MoHa 209-1000MoHa 208-1000KuHa 208-1000

Cars 2, 5 and 8 are fitted with PS21 lozenge type pantographs.[14]

209-2000/2100 series

These are four- and six-car sets based at Makuhari Depot modified in 2009 from former Keihin-Tohoku Line 209-0 series ten-car sets for use on Chiba area and Bōsō Peninsula local services from 1 October 2009 to replace aging 211 series trains. The first four-car set was outshopped from Nagano Works in June 2009. Modifications include new electrical equipment, the addition of transverse seating, LED destination indicator panels, and a toilet.[15] The cars are numbered in the -2100 series, although some four-car sets have end cars numbered in the -2000 series. The -2000 series cars are converted from early batch 209-0 series units with air-operated doors rather than the electrically-operated doors of later batch units.[16]

As of October 2016, 42 four-car sets and 26 six-car sets were in service.[1][5]

4-car formation

Car No.1234
Numbering KuHa 208-2000/2100MoHa 208-2100MoHa 209-2100KuHa 209-2000/2100
  • The end cars have some transverse seating bays.
  • Car 2 is fitted with a toilet.
  • The MoHa 209-2100 cars are fitted with one lozenge-type pantograph.

The first six-car set, C602, was outshopped from Ōmiya Works in July 2009.[5]

6-car formation

Car No.123456
Numbering KuHa 208-2100MoHa 208-2100MoHa 209-2100MoHa 208-2100MoHa 209-2100KuHa 209-2100
  • The end cars have some transverse seating bays.
  • Car 2 is fitted with a toilet.
  • The MoHa 209-2100 cars are each fitted with one lozenge-type pantograph.

209-2200 series

These were six-car sets reformed in 2009 from former Keihin-Tohoku Line 209-0 series ten-car sets for use on Nambu Line services, replacing the early-batch 209-0 series set and a 205-1200 series set.[17] The first set, number 52, was outshopped in May 2009, and entered service on 12 June 2009.[18] Modifications include new electrical equipment and the addition of LED destination indicator panels.[19]

The last remaining 209-2200 series trainset, set 53, was replaced from 15 March 2017.[20]


The 209-2200 series sets were formed as follows, with car 1 at the Kawasaki end.[1]

Car No.123456
Numbering KuHa 209-2200MoHa 209-2200MoHa 208-2200MoHa 209-2200MoHa 208-2200KuHa 208-2200

Cars 2 and 4 were each equipped with a PS28A single-arm pantograph.[1]

209-2200 series "B.B.Base"

This is a former Nambu Line 209-2200 series set (Naha 53) specially modified during 2017 for use as a train for carrying cyclists and their bicycles from Ryogoku in Tokyo to various destinations on the Uchibo Line, Sotobo Line, Narita Line, and Sobu Main Line on the Boso Peninsula. Branded "B.B.Base" (an abbreviation for "Boso Bicycle Base"), it entered service on 6 January 2018.[21]


The 209-2200 series "B.B.Base" set is formed as follows, with car 1 at the Ryogoku (western) end.[21]

Car No.123456
Numbering KuHa 208-2202MoHa 208-2204MoHa 209-2204MoHa 208-2203MoHa 209-2203KuHa 209-2202
Weight (t) 27.231.929.633.129.627.5
Seating capacity 201920-2020

Cars 3 and 5 each have one PS33F single-arm pantograph.[21] Cars 1 to 3 and 5 to 6 have fixed seating bays arranged 2+1 abreast with cycle racks provided next to each of the doorways, while car 4 has an open configuration with bench seating on one side and a bar counter. Wheelchair-accessible toilets are provided in cars 2 and 4.[21]

209-3000 series

Four four-car 6th-batch sets were introduced on 16 March 1996 for use on the Kawagoe Line and newly electrified southern section of the Hachikō Line. These sets (numbers 61 to 64) are based at JR East's Kawagoe depot.[22] While visually similar to the original 209-0 sub-series, these sets differ in having passenger-operated door controls.[13]

These sets were displaced when E231-3000 series and 209-3500 series sets entered service, with the last set withdrawn in February 2019.


For a short period in 2004, KuHa 209-3003 of set 63 was fitted with transverse seating bays to increase seating capacity. It was later reverted to standard longitudinal bench seating.[13]

Between February and March 2007, some of the previously sealed windows in each car were modified to allow them to be opened.[13]


The four sets, 61 to 64, are formed as shown below, with car 1 at the Komagawa end and car 4 at the Kawagoe end.[23]

Car No.1234
Designation Tc'M'MTc
Numbering KuHa 208-3000MoHa 208-3000MoHa 209-3000KuHa 209-3000

Car 3 is fitted with one PS28 lozenge-type pantograph.[23]

Build details

Set Manufacturer Date delivered
61 Kawasaki Heavy Industries January 1996
62 Tokyu Car Corporation January 1996
63 Tokyu Car Corporation February 1996
64 Tokyu Car Corporation February 1996

209-3100 series

This sub-series of two four-car sets was introduced on 17 April 2005 as part of the scheme to eliminate 103 series sets from the Kawagoe Line and Hachiko Line.[24] Set number 71 consists of two former TWR 70-000 series control cars with two newly manufactured intermediate cars, while set number 72 consists entirely of former 70-000 series cars. The 70-000 series cars had become surplus when six-car sets were reformed into ten-car sets in 2004. Like the 209-3000 series, these sets have passenger-operated door controls.[13]


The two sets, 71 and 72, are formed as shown below, with car 1 at the Komagawa end and car 4 at the Kawagoe end.[23]

Car No.1234
Designation Tc'M'MTc
Numbering KuHa 208-3100MoHa 208-3100MoHa 209-3100KuHa 209-3100

Car 3 is fitted with one PS28 lozenge-type pantograph.[23]

Former TWR 70-000 series conversions

The identities of the six former 70-000 series cars converted in 2004 and 2005 to become 209-3100 series EMUs are as shown below.[23]

Car numberSet numberFormer car numberDate returned to traffic
KuHa 209-31017170-02014 March 2005
KuHa 208-31017170-02914 March 2005
KuHa 209-31027270-03016 December 2004
MoHa 209-31027270-02716 December 2004
MoHa 208-31027270-02816 December 2004
KuHa 209-31027270-03916 December 2004

209-3500 series

From 2018, former 209-500 series ten-car sets based at Mitaka Depot for use on Chuo-Sobu Line services were reformed and converted to become four-car 209-3500 series sets based at Kawagoe for use on Kawagoe Line and Hachiko Line services.[7]


Car No.1234
Designation Tc'M'MTc
Numbering KuHa 208-3500MoHa 208-3500MoHa 209-3500KuHa 209-3500

Former set identities

The former identities of the 209-3500 series sets are as follows.[25]

Set No.Former set No.
51 C501
52 C502
53 C503
54 C504
55 C505

Training sets


A purpose-built four-car set based directly on the 209-0 series design and classified E991 series was delivered to JR East's training centre in Shirakawa, Fukushima in 2000 for internal training use. Externally, it is finished in shōnan green/orange stripes on unpainted stainless steel.


A two-car set was converted from former Keihin-Tohoku Line end cars in 2008 for use as a staff training set at JR East's Ōmiya Training Center. This replaced the former 103 series two-car set previously used there. The set is formed of KuMoHa209-76 + KuMoHa208-76, and is finished in the shōnan green/orange colour scheme.[26]


Another two-car set was converted from former Keihin-Tohoku Line end cars at Nagano Works, and moved to the JR East Yokohama area training centre next to Kurihama Station in July 2008, replacing the 105 series 2-car set previously used there. The set is formed of KuMoHa 209-092 + KuMoHa 208-092, converted from former intermediate cars MoHa209-39 + MoHa208-39, with cabs newly added, and features pale yellow bodyside stripes bearing the lettering "YOKOHAMA Training Center".[27]


A third two-car set was converted from former Keihin-Tohoku Line end cars at Nagano Works, and moved to the JR East Hachiōji area training centre next to Shin-Akitsu Station in October 2008, replacing the 105 series two-car set previously used there. The set features orange bodyside stripes bearing the lettering "HACHIOJI Training Center".[28]


In October 2008, JR East unveiled the seven-car "MUE-Train" (MUltipurpose Experimental Train) experimental EMU converted from former Keihin-Tohoku Line 209 series cars. This set is used to test and develop new technology for use on future narrow-gauge trains. The train is based at Kawagoe Depot and began testing on the Utsunomiya Line from November 2008.[29]


2008 - 2009

Car No.1234567
Numbering KuYa 208-2MoYa 208-4MoYa 209-4SaYa 209-8MoYa 208-3MoYa 209-3KuYa 209-2

2010 onward

Car No.123567
Numbering KuYa 208-2MoYa 208-4MoYa 209-4MoYa 208-3MoYa 209-3KuYa 209-2

Cars 3 and 6 are each fitted with one PS33D single-arm pantograph.[14]

Preserved examples

  • KuHa 901-1 (previously KuHa 209-901), at the Tokyo General Rolling Stock Center in Shinagawa, Tokyo[30]


  • JR全車輌ハンドブック2006 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2006]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2006. ISBN 978-4-7770-0453-9.
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  7. 八高線用の209系3500番台が配給輸送される [Hachiko Line 209-3500 series transferred]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 19 January 2018. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
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  14. JR電車編成表 2010夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2010]. Japan: Kotsu Shinbunsha. May 2010. ISBN 978-4-330-14310-1.
  15. 209系2100番台,配給輸送される. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). 14 June 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009.
  16. 209系転用改造車 [209 series modified units]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). 49 (583): 58–62. November 2009.
  17. 209系転用計画の全貌. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). 49 (583): 63–73. November 2009.
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  20. JR南武線、全車両「E233系」に統一へ 青梅・五日市線から6両転属 [JR Nambu Line to be standardized with fleet of E233 series following transfer of 6 cars from Ome/Itsukaichi Line]. tetsudo-shimbun.com (in Japanese). Japan: Tetsudo Shimbun. 26 January 2017. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  21. 209系「B.B.BASE」 [209 series "B.B.Base"]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 58 no. 683. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. March 2018. pp. 70–71.
  22. JR電車編成表 '07冬号 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2007]. Japan: JRR. December 2006. ISBN 978-4-88283-046-7.
  23. JR電車編成表 2012夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2012]. Japan: Kotsu Shinbunsha. May 2012. pp. 67, 408. ISBN 978-4-330-28612-9.
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  25. 八高線用の209系3500番台が試運転 [Hachiko Line 209-3500 series undergoes test-running]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  26. "(untitled)". Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). 48 (567): 96. July 2008.
  27. 横浜総合訓練センターにも新訓練車登場 [New training set for Yokohama Training Center]. rail.hobidas.com (in Japanese). 13 August 2008. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  28. 八王子総合訓練センターにも209系訓練車 [209 series training set for Hachiōji Training Center too]. rail.hobidas.com (in Japanese). 12 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  29. 在来線用試験電車MUE-Train (ミュートレイン)について (PDF). jreast.co.jp (in Japanese). 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  30. Sasada, Masahiro (September 2012). 国鉄&JR保存車大全 [JNR & JR Preserved Rolling Stock Complete Guide]. Tokyo, Japan: Ikaros Publications Ltd. p. 127. ISBN 978-4863206175.

Further reading

  • 首都圏新系列車両 Profile: 209/E231/E233系グループの全貌 首都圏新系列車両PROFILE [Tokyo Area New-generation Rolling Stock Profile]. Japan: Ikaros Publishing. 15 April 2011. ISBN 978-4-86320-436-2.
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