The 209 series is a commuter EMU used by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on railway lines in the Tokyo area.
The series was introduced in 1993 to replace the aging 103 series stock on the Keihin-Tōhoku 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.
The 209 series was the first of the , 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.
In 2006, JR East announced that the 209 series trains on the Keihin-Tōhoku/Negishi lines will be replaced by new E233 series trains from autumn 2007.
The original full-production version introduced on both the Keihin-Tōhoku
(10-car sets) and Nambu
(6-car sets) lines in 1993. 6-door SaHa208 cars were inserted into the Keihin-Tōhoku Line sets in 1995.
This sub-series represented a stop-gap for use from 1998 on the Chūō-Sōbu Line
until the full-production E231 series
trains were delivered. The 17 10-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). 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 6-door cars. A number of sets were transferred to the Keihin-Tōhoku Line, and, from 2008, these are being transferred to the Keiyō Line
, following the introduction of new E233 series
Three 10-car 209-900 series prototypes were built in 1992 for testing and passenger evaluation on the Keihin-Tōhoku Line. Initially classified as 901 series, the three sets were subsequently reclassified as 209-900 series (set A, built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
), 209-910 series (set B, built by Tokyu Car Corporation
), and 209-920 series (set C, built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
). The three sets incorporated a number of different design features for evaluation, but were subsequently converted to bring them in line with the full-production specifications. They differ from the full-production 209-0 series sets in not having 6-door SaHa208 cars.
209-910 series set 91 was withdrawn in December 2006, and the last of the three prototype sets, set 90, was withdrawn in August 2007.
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.
Two 10-car sets entered service in December 1999 on Jōban Line
and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line inter-running services. Based on the 209-0 sub-series, these trains have end doors for use in emergencies inside tunnels. These sets are based at JR East's Matsudo depot.
Four 4-car sets were introduced in 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. While visually similar to the original 209-0 sub-series, these sets differ in having passenger-operated door controls.
This sub-series of two 4-car sets was introduced in 2005 as part of the scheme to eliminate 103 series
sets from the Kawagoe Line
and Hachikō Line
. 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 6-car sets had been reformed into 10-car sets in 2004. Like the 209-3000 series, these sets have passenger-operated door controls.
A purpose-built 4-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-Tōhoku 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 2-car set previously used there. The set is formed of KuMoHa209-76 + KuMoHa208-76, and is finished in the shōnan green/orange colour scheme.
Another two-car set was converted from former Keihin-Tōhoku 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 KuMoHa209-092 + KuMoHa208-092, 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".
A third two-car set was converted from former Keihin-Tōhoku 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 2-car set previously used there. The set features orange bodyside stripes bearing the lettering "HACHIOJI Training Center".
In October 2008, JR East unveiled the 7-car "MUE-Train" (MUltipurpose Experimental Train) experimental EMU converted from former Keihin-Tōhoku Line 209 series cars. This set will be used to test and develop new technology for use on future narrow-gauge trains. The train is based at Kawagoe Depot and will begin testing on the Utsunomiya Line from November 2008.
Lines on which 209 series trains operate
- 2006 JR Rolling Stock Handbook - Neko Publishing
- JR EMU Formations (Winter 2007) - JRR Publishing