The Red List of Trains in Japan

E1 series Bullet Train

The original livery

Data (as of 1 Jul 2021)

Status:  Extinct 
Constructed in: 1994-95
Number built: 72
Retired in: 2012


The E1 series was all-double-decker bullet train type developed by JR East. In the early-1990s, the number of commuters using Joetsu and Tohoku Shinkansen to/from Tokyo was increasing so that the company had to introduce large bullet train units. Each E1 series unit consisted of 12 coaches, was capable of transporting 1,235 passengers, and could run at 240 km/h (150 mph).

They were initially painted grey and white with green bands, and introduced to Max Aoba (Tokyo - Sendai, all-stations) and Max Yamabiko (Tokyo - Morioka, fast) on Tohoku Shinkansen, as well as Max Toki (Tokyo - Niigata, all-stations) on Joetsu Shinkansen. Those on Tohoku Shinkansen were replaced with E4 series by 1999.

All units were refurbished in 2003-06 and repainted white and dark blue with pink bands. They had been used on Max Toki (fast services since 2002) and Max Tanigawa (Tokyo - Echigo-Yuzawa, all-stations) until 2012. They were replaced with the E4 series that were reallocated from Tohoku Shinkansen, following introduction of E5 series.

It is also worth noting that the E1 series was the first bullet train type whose name was not three-digit number.

(Updated: 17 Jul 2021)

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