415 series

The 415 series (415系, 415-kei) is a dual-voltage AC/DC outer-suburban electric multiple unit (EMU) train type introduced in 1971 by Japanese National Railways (JNR), and later operated in Japan by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), and West Japan Railway Company (JR-West).

401/403/415/421/423 series
A 415 series train on the Jōban Line approaching Abiko Station in July 2006
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo, Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation, JR-West
Entered service1971
Number built674 vehicles
Formation3/4/7 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JNR (1971–1987)
JR East (1987–2016)
JR Kyushu (1987–present)
JR-West (1991-present)
Line(s) servedVarious
Car body constructionSteel/stainless steel
Car length19,500-20,000 mm
Width2,950 mm
Height3,654-3,670 mm
Maximum speed100 km/h (60 mph)
Traction systemResistor control (401 Series and 423 Series Sets) MT46
(403 Series and 415 Series Sets) MT54
Power supply120 kW
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC / 20 kV AC 50 Hz/60 Hz
Current collection methodoverhead catenary
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The 415 series is descended from the 401, 403, 421 and 423 series.


The 415 series was introduced in 1971, and has since spawned six variants, as listed below.

  • 415-0 series
  • 415-100 series
  • 415-500 series
  • 415-700 series
  • 415-800 series
  • 415-1500 series

415-0 series

This was the original version of the 415 series train, and was manufactured from 1971 to 1974, and had air-conditioners installed in 1977. The Jōban Line and Mito Line trains were withdrawn in March 2007 in favour of the new E531 series trains, but 415-0 series were still in operation with JR Kyushu as of January 2013.[1]


The first 415-0 series sets allocated to Kyushu were 4-car units delivered in December 1974. These were formed KuHa 411-300 + MoHa 415 + MoHa 414 + KuHa 411-300.[1] Originally delivered in the JNR livery of brick red ("Red No. 13") with cream ("Cream No. 4") warning panels on the cab ends, these sets were repainted between 1986 and 1987 into a new livery of white with blue bodyside stripe, carried up until the present day.[1] Some sets later received life-extension refurbishment with transverse seating replaced by longitudinal seating.[1]

Livery variations

JR Kyushu set FM5 was re-painted in the old JNR livery in 2000 to commemorate the millennium celebrations in Japan. It operated in this livery until it was withdrawn in 2012.[1]

415-100 series

This subseries was introduced in 1978, and most of the trains are operated by JR Kyushu, although a few trainsets were operated by JR East on the Jōban Line (the latter were withdrawn in March 2007, again in favour of the E531 series trains). The 415-100 series trainsets were built in the same exterior style as the 113-2000 series trains, but the seat pitch for transverse seating was increased from 1,420 mm to 1,490 mm, and toilets were fitted only in the KuHa 411-200 cars.[1]


The first 415-100 series sets allocated to Kyushu were 4-car units delivered from September 1978. These were formed KuHa 411-100 + MoHa 415-100 + MoHa 414-100 + KuHa 411-200.[1] Some sets later received life-extension refurbishment with transverse seating replaced by longitudinal seating.[1]

415-500 series

The 415-500 sub-series was introduced from January 1982 on the Jōban Line, based at Katsuta Depot. These units had all longitudinal seating.[1] Five 4-car sets were transferred to Minami-Fukuoka Depot in 1987 for use on Kagoshima Main Line duties, but these were all transferred to Kagoshima Depot by March 2007.[1] A further two 4-car sets were transferred from JR East to JR Kyushu, entering service in March 2009.[1]

415-700 series

Only seven cars were manufactured, and from 1985 to 2007 was operated as part of the 7+4+4-car formations on the Jōban Line. It was withdrawn in March 2007 and scrapped in July 2008.

415-800 series

Introduced by JR-West in 1991 for service on the Nanao Line and the IR Ishikawa Railway Line. The 415-800 series trainsets are based on the 113-800 series trains.

415-1500 series

Introduced in February 1986, the stainless steel bodies 415-1500 series trainsets look externally similar to the 211 and 213 series trains, and can be operated in 4- or 7+4+4-car formations (Jōban Line only). These trains can be coupled with the 415-500 and 415-700 series trains, and are lighter than previous variants.


12 4-car 415-1500 series sets (F1510 - F1521) were delivered to Kyushu between September 1986 and February 1987.[1] Set F1501 was also later transferred from JR East to JR Kyushu in 2009, allocated first to Minami-Fukuoka Depot, and later to Mojiko Depot (from March 2012).[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. ISBN 978-4-7770-0836-0.
  • JR電車編成表 2009夏 [JR EMU Formations - Summer 2009]. Japan: JRR. June 2009. ISBN 978-4-330-06909-8.
  • Fukuhara (August 2010). 415系近郊形電車のあゆみ その1 [History of the 415 series suburban EMUs - Part 1]. Japan Railfan Magazine. 50 (592): 94–99.
  1. Saka, Masahiro (February 2013). JR九州近郊型電車の現況 [The current state of JR Kyushu outer-suburban EMUs]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō Magazine (in Japanese). 42 (346): 14–31.

Further reading

  • Fukuhara, Shunichi (August 2015). 415系物語 [The 415 series story] (in Japanese). Japan: JTB Publishing. ISBN 9784533105920.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.