E4 series

E4 series

E4 series
E4 series at Ōmiya Station, March 2011
In service 1997–Present
Manufacturer Hitachi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Family name "Max"
Constructed 1997–2003
Number built 208 vehicles (26 sets)
Number in service 208 vehicles (26 sets)
Formation 8 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers P1–P22, P51–P52, P81–P82
Capacity 817 (54 Green + 763 Standard)
Operator JR East
Depot(s) Niigata, Sendai
Line(s) served Tōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen
Car body construction Aluminium
Car length End cars: 25,700 mm (84 ft 4 in),
Intermediate cars: 25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in)
Width 3,380 mm (11 ft 1 in)
Doors 2 per side
Maximum speed 240 km/h (150 mph)
Weight 428 t
Traction system 16 x 420 kW (560 hp) AC traction motors
Power output 6.72 MW (9,010 hp)
Acceleration 1.65 km/h/s
Deceleration 2.69 km/h/s (service),
4.04 km/h/s (emergency)
Power supply overhead catenary
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Current collection method Pantograph
UIC classification 2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2' (8 car set)
Braking system(s) Pneumatic and Regenerative
Safety system(s) ATC-2, DS-ATC
Multiple working 400/E3-1000/E3-2000 series
Track gauge

The E4 series (E4系?) is a high-speed shinkansen train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan. They were the second series of completely bi-level Shinkansen trainsets to be built in Japan (the other being the E1 series). They operate on the Tōhoku and Jōetsu Shinkansen, and occasionally on the Nagano Shinkansen. E4 series trains feature double-decker cars to accommodate additional commuter traffic around Tokyo and other urban areas.[1] They were often coupled to 400 series trains on the Tōhoku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Fukushima before the latter retired in April 2010.

Two eight-car sets can be coupled together for extra capacity: a sixteen-car E4 series formation trainset carries a total of 1,634 seated passengers - the highest-capacity high-speed rail trainset in the world.[2]

26 units were built between 1997 and 2003. As with the earlier E1 series trains, maximum speed is 240 km/h.


Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Designation T1c M1 M2 T Tk Mp Ms Tpsc
Numbering E453-100 E455-100 E456-100 E458 E459-200 E455 E446 E444
Seating capacity 75 133 119 124 110 122 91 43

Cars 4 and 6 are each equipped with a PS201 pantograph.[3]


Sets P51 and P52, delivered in January and February 2001 were designed to cope with the steep gradients of the Nagano Shinkansen for use on services to Karuizawa.[3]

Sets P81 and P82, delivered in July and November 2003 were designed to cope with the steep gradients of the Nagano Shinkansen, and are also capable of operating under 50 Hz and 60 Hz overhead power supplies for use on services to Nagano.[3]


As with the earlier E1 series, the upper deck saloons of non-reserved cars 1 to 3 are arranged 3+3 with no individual armrests, and do not recline. The lower decks of these cars, and the reserved-seating saloons in cars 4 to 8 have regular 2+3 seating. The Green car saloons on the upper decks of cars 7 to 8 have 2+2 seating. The trains have a total seating capacity of 817 passengers.[4]


The first E4 series set, P1, was delivered to Sendai Depot on 8 October 1997, with the first sets entering revenue-earning service on the Tōhoku Shinkansen from 20 December 1997.[3]

All cars were made no-smoking from the start of the revised timetable on 18 March 2007.[3]

In March 2011, it was announced that the entire E4 series fleet would be withdrawn by around 2016.[5]

In September 2012, E4 series were entirely withdrawn from Tōhoku Shinkansen services.

See also

  • List of high speed trains


External links

  • (Japanese)