E257 series

The E257 series (E257系) is a DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated in Japan by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and built jointly by Hitachi, Kinki Sharyo, and Tokyu Car Corporation.

E257 series
An E257 series train on a Chuo Line Azusa service in January 2008
In service2001–Present
ManufacturerHitachi, Kinki Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corporation
Family nameA-train
Replaced183/189 series, 185-0 series
Number built249 vehicles
Number in service249 vehicles
Formation2/5/9 cars per trainset
Operator(s)JR East
Depot(s)Matsumoto, Makuhari
Line(s) servedUchibo Line, Sotobo Line, Tōkaidō Main Line, Ito Line, Izu Kyuko Line, Izuhakone Railway Sunzu Line
Car length21,000 mm (68 ft 11 in) (end cars)
20,500 mm (67 ft 3 in) (intermediate cars)
Maximum speed130 km/h (80 mph)
Electric system(s)1,500 V DC overhead
Current collection methodPantograph
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)


  • E257-0 series: Chuo Main Line
  • E257-500 series: Boso Express
  • E257-2000 series: Odoriko

Three variants exist: the original E257-0 series for use on Chuo Main Line Azusa and Kaiji limited-express services until 16 March 2019, the E257-500 series for use on Uchibo Line, Sotobo Line, Sobu Main Line, Narita Line, and Kashima Line limited-express services[1] and the E257-2000 used for Odoriko services modified from former E257-0 series trains displaced from Chuo Main Line limited express services by E353 series trains.

E257-0 series

This sub-series version 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 consists 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 only at the Matsumoto end.

The type was the recipient of the 45th Blue Ribbon Award (2002) of the Japan Railfan Club.


Former operations

  • Chūō Main Line
    • Azusa: Chiba - Tokyo - Shinjuku - Matsumoto - Minamiotari
    • Kaiji: Tokyo - Shinjuku - Kōfu - Ryūō
    • Chūō Liner (discontinued): Tokyo - Shinjuku - Hachiōji - Takao (discontinued)
    • Ōme Liner (discontinued): Tokyo - Shinjuku - Tachikawa - Ōme
  • Shinonoi Line
    • Rapid (E257 series operation discontinued): Matsumoto - Nagano

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.

From 2018, the E257 series trains are replaced by E353 series EMUs on Chuo Line Azusa and Kaiji limited express services and redeployed on Odoriko services.[2] On 16 March 2019, all E257 series trains have stopped operating on Chuo Line limited expresses.


The nine-car sets (M101 to M116) are formed as follows.[3]

Car No.34567891011
Designation TcMM'MTTsMM'Tc'
Numbering KuHa E257-100MoHa E257MoHa E256MoHa E257-1000SaHa E257SaRoHa E257MoHa E257-100MoHa E256-100KuHa E256
  • Cars 4, 6, and 9 are each fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.

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

Car No.12
Designation TcMc
Numbering KuHa E257KuMoHa E257

Car 2 is fitted with one PS37 single-arm pantograph.


E257-500 series

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.


The five-car E257-500 series sets (NB01 to NB19) are formed as follows.[3]

Car No.12345
Designation Tc'MM'MTc
Numbering KuHa E256-500MoHa E257-1500MoHa E256-500MoHa E257-500KuHa 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 series

The E257-2000 series is a refurbished version of the E257-0 series. The former E257-0 sets M112 and M113 underwent conversion at the Nagano General Rolling Stock Center.[5][6] They are scheduled to run on Odoriko Limited Express services on the Tōkaidō Line.


  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. 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. "E257系2000番台NA-10編成が長野から尾久へ" [E257-2000 series set NA-10 from Nagano to Oku]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  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.
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