The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR East 255 series Boso View Express

Data (as of 6 Jul 2024)

Status:  Critically Endangered 
Constructed in: 1993-94
Number built: 45
Registered: 36


The 255 series is a limited express train type, specifically designed for services in Chiba Prefecture. Chiba is an adjacent prefecture to Tokyo, with both dormitory suburbs and tourist spots (mostly beaches), so JR East decided to introduce brand new trains that could attract both commuters and tourists. The company also planned to replace 183 series, which had been used for more than 20 years.

The body design is based on 253 series, though the 255 series has no gangway at the front end. Each unit consists of nine coaches including a Green Car (first class), and initially introduced to Limited Express View Sazanami (Tokyo - Tateyama via Uchibo Line) and View Wakashio (Tokyo - Awa-Kamogawa via Sotobo Line). JR East called these services View, showing that they were provided by the latest rolling stock. However, when the 183 series retired in 2005, the company removed the word.

Due to a drop in demand following motorway extensions, limited express services in Chiba Prefecture have been declining in the last twenty years. As nine-car train seemed excessive, JR East withdrew all units from regular service in March 2024.

Current Operations & Future Prospects

After March 2024, no 255 series train is used for regular passenger service as E259 series took them over. However, JR East uses a few for Limited Express Sazanami (Tokyo - Kimitsu), Shiosai (Tokyo - Choshi) and Wakashio (Tokyo - Awa-Kamogawa) as a temporary measure. It is easy to find services provided by the 255 series as it is now the only rolling stock with Green Car (first class) in the region.

It is not clear whether the series remains operational after September 2024.

(Updated: 6 Jul 2024)

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