The Red List of Trains in Japan

E5 and H5 series Bullet Train

The E5 series owned by JR East

Data (as of 31 Mar 2024)

Status:  Least Concern 
Constructed in: 2009-
Number built: 550
Registered: 540


The E5 series is the fastest bullet train in Japan, running at 320 km/h (200 mph). JR East initially envisaged having a new high-speed train running at 360 km/h (223 mph), but the company reduced the speed due to value for money (and time) as well as impact on the environment. Even so, the journey time between major stations on Tohoku Shinkansen was dramatically reduced, thanks to the maximum speed and bogies that allow faster speed at tight curves.

The E5 series is the first train to have Gran Class, or even more luxurious first class. They were initially introduced to Hayabusa (fast service), and some services are joined to Komachi (Tokyo - Akita) provided by E6 series. When Hokkaido Shinkansen was opened in 2016, JR Hokkaido introduced the same trains with the name H5 series.

The E5 series were introduced to other services on Tohoku Shinkansen as well, replacing 200 series and E2 series.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

The E5 series are used on the entire Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen. They are mostly used for fast services like Hayabusa (Tokyo - Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, fast), but some Yamabiko (Tokyo - Morioka, semi-fast) and Nasuno (Tokyo - Koriyama, all-stations) services are served by them as well. The H5 series are only used for Hayabusa services, in accordance with fixed schedule.

Indian Railways plan to use the E5-series-based train on Mumbai‚ÄďAhmedabad high-speed rail corridor from 2023.


A mockup of the front carriage is displayed at The Railway Museum in Saitama.

(Updated: 31 Mar 2024)

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