The Red List of Trains in Japan

JR East E331 series

The series being hauled by a loco, days before demolition.

Data (as of 14 Sep 2021)

Status:  Extinct 
Constructed in: 2006
Number built: 14
Retired in: 2014


The E331 series was an unsuccessful experimental train on Keiyo Line. The bodies looked similar to E231 series, but each carriage was shorter than other types. The unit consisted of 14 coaches, many of which had Jacobs bogies. It was the first train on passenger service to have the Jacobs bogies in JR history. Traction was different from other trains that JR East uses as well. The seating was mostly longitudinal, but front carriages had convertible seating (from longitudinal to transverse and vice versa).

The operation of the E331 series was disastrous, as it suffered from too many serious issues. It entered service in March 2007 and ran only at weekends, but taken out of service less than three weeks after the introduction. It was sent back to manufacturers for repair work, which took months. It was reinstated in December 2008, but broken again five months later. It returned on mainline in April 2010, but withdrawn less than a year later, and never came back.

In 2014, the E331 series was demolished after three years of storage. It had been registered for mainline use for eight years, but operational for merely 18 months. Today, Keiyo Line is served mostly by E233 series, a conventional but reliable commuter train type.

(Updated: 18 Sep 2021)

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