H5 Series Shinkansen

The H5 series (H5系) is a Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train type owned by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) for use on Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen services since 26 March 2016.[1][2] Based on the earlier E5 series trains, a total of four 10-car sets were built by Hitachi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries at a cost of approximately 18 billion yen.[2] The first two sets were delivered in October 2014.

H5 series
Set H1 on a Hayabusa service in March 2016
In service26 March 2016 -
ManufacturerHitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Number built40 vehicles (4 sets)
Number in service40 vehicles (4 sets)
Formation10 cars per trainset
Fleet numbersH1H4
Capacity731 (658 Ordinary, 55 Green, 18 Gran Class)
Operator(s)JR Hokkaido
Line(s) servedTōhoku Shinkansen
Hokkaido Shinkansen
Car body constructionAluminium alloy
Maximum speed320 km/h (200 mph)
Electric system(s)25 kV AC, 50 Hz overhead catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
Multiple workingE6 series
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge


As of 26 March 2016, H5 series trainsets work in a pool with similar JR East E5 series trainsets,[3] and are used on the following services on the Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen lines:[4]

The H5 series is the first JR Hokkaido train type to use the "H" prefix, following the method used by JR East (with an "E" prefix).


The H5 series is directly based on the E5 series trains operated by JR East on the Tohoku Shinkansen since 2011, and has an identical maximum operating speed of 320 km/h (200 mph), although this is limited to 260 km/h (160 mph) on the Hokkaido Shinkansen, and to 160 km/h (100 mph) on the dual gauge track extending through the undersea Seikan Tunnel connecting Hokkaido with mainland Honshu.[5] All cars feature active suspension, and tilt by up to 1.5 degrees through curves, allowing the maximum speed of 320 km/h to be maintained even on curves with a radius of 4,000 m.[5] The units feature a number of cold-weather improvements, including an upgraded snowplow on the lead units, durable rubber to protect the various connections between cars and a stainless-steel underframe to protect the electronics (upgraded from the usual aluminium underframe protection for added durability).[6]


The exterior finish of the trains is similar to the JR East E5 series, with a colour scheme of "Tokiwa" (常盤) green for the upper body and "Hiun" (飛雲) white for the lower body, separated by a "Saika" (彩香) purple stripe intended to evoke images of lilac, lupin, and lavender flowers for which Hokkaido is famous.[7] Bodyside logos are carried on cars 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10.[8]


The trains have three classes of accommodation: premium Gran Class (car 10), Green class (car 9), and Ordinary class (cars 1 to 8).[5]

Gran Class

Car 10 (at the northern end) is designated "Gran Class", featuring 18 seats arranged in 2+1 abreast configuration with a seat pitch of 1,300 mm (51.2 in).[7] AC power outlets are provided for all seats.[7] The carpet in the Gran Class car is blue with a pattern intended to evoke images of Hokkaido's sea and lakes.[9]

Green car

Car 9 is designated as "Green car" (first class) accommodation with 55 seats arranged in 2+2 abreast configuration and a seat pitch of 1,160 mm (45.7 in).[7] AC power outlets are provided for all seats.[7] The carpet in the Green car is dark grey with a pattern depicting the ocean with fragments of drift ice.[9]

Ordinary class

Ordinary class (cars 1 to 8) accommodation is arranged in 3+2 abreast configuration with a seat pitch of 1,040 mm (40.9 in).[7] AC power outlets are provided for all seats.[7] The interior of the ordinary-class cars is intended to evoke images of snow and the night view of Hakodate.[9]


The 10-car sets, numbered "H1" onward, are formed with eight motored ("M") cars and two non-powered trailer ("T") cars.[5] Car 1 is at the southern end.[5] Cars 3 and 7 each have one N-PS208 single-arm pantograph.[5]

Car No. 12345678910
Designation T1cM2M1M2M1kM2M1M2M1sTsc
Numbering H523H526-100H525H526-200H525-400H526-300H525-100H526-400H515H514
Capacity 29988598599885985518
Facilities Toilet Toilet, cardphone Toilet, AED, cardphone, wheelchair space Toilet Toilet, wheelchair space, conductor's compartment 


Details of the new trains on order were announced by JR Hokkaido in April 2014.[1] The first set, H1, was shipped from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe to Hakodate Depot in October 2014.[10] The second set was also delivered in October 2014.[11]

In November 2014, JR Hokkaido officially announced details of the bodyside logos to be applied to the trains, combining an outline of Hokkaido with an image intended to portray the gyrfalcon native to Hokkaido.[8]

Slow-speed test-running on the Hokkaido Shinkansen tracks within Hokkaido commenced from 1 December 2014, with the maximum speed of 260 km/h reached on 26 December.[12] Test-running on the Tohoku Shinkansen south of Shin-Aomori commenced in November 2015.[13]

Fleet history

As of 1 October 2015, the fleet is as follows.[14]

Set number Manufacturer Official delivery date
H1 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 1 November 2014
H2 Hitachi 8 November 2014
H3 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 23 May 2015
H4 Kawasaki Heavy Industries 3 August 2015

See also


  1. 北海道新幹線用車両について [Hokkaido Shinkansen Train Details] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Hokkaido Railway Company. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  2. 北海道新幹線「H5系」、内装には雪の結晶も [Hokkaido Shinkansen "H5 series" - Interiors to feature snowflake design]. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  3. Ltd, DVV Media International. "Hokkaido Shinkansen inaugurated".
  4. JR時刻表 [JR Timetable] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 2016. pp. 977–979. OCLC 852242725.
  5. H5系新幹線電車 [H5 Series Shinkansen EMU]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 55 no. 651. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. July 2015. pp. 101–108.
  6. Special Preview: Hokkaido Shinkansen - Hopes and Challenges. Hakodate: NHK. 25 February 2016. Event occurs at 5:20. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  7.  北海道新幹線車両(H5系)の概要 [Outline of Hokkaido Shinkansen rolling stock (H5 series)] (in Japanese). Japan: Hokkaido Railway Company. 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. 北海道新幹線用車両H5系のシンボルマーク決定について [Details of the Hokkaido Shinkansen H5 series train logo] (PDF). News release (in Japanese). Japan: Hokkaido Railway Company. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  9. Ishibashi, Ryosuke (17 April 2014). "JR Hokkaido reveals design of new bullet train series". Asia & Japan Watch. Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  10. "H5系が川崎重工から出場" [H5 series shipped from Kawasaki Heavy Industries]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  11. フル編成、堂々 北海道新幹線、線路に [A complete Hokkaido Shinkansen trainset proudly takes to the rails]. Doshin Web (in Japanese). Japan: The Hokkaido Shimbun Press. 1 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  12. Ito, Hisami (March 2015). 北海道新幹線H5系 雪中で順調に試運転中 [Hokkaido Shinkansen H5 series: Test-running proceeds in the snow]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 55 no. 647. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. p. 57.
  13. H5系が東北新幹線内で試運転 [H5 series test run on Tohoku Shinkansen]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  14. JR電車編成表 2016冬 [JR EMU Formations - Winter 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 18 November 2015. p. 11. ISBN 978-4-330-62315-3.
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