Friday, 12 January 2018

Countdown to the Last Run: E351 Super-Azusa

EMU JR East E351 series, limited express "Super-Azusa", passes through Takao Station

On December 23rd, 2017, JR East launched a new express train, the EMU E353 series, on their Chuo Main Line. The E353 series was started to operate as a limited express train "Super-Azusa", for the time being, but it will be also operated as "Azusa" in the near future. The introduction of the new model will cause JR East to make train transfers one after another. Firstly, the EMU E257 series, which is commissioned as "Azusa", will be moved to the Tokaido Main Line as a limited express "Odoriko". Secondly, the E351 series, which is commissioned as "Super-Azusa", will soon be retired from the track.

The EMU E351 series is the representative express train on the eastern half of the Chuo Main Line. It was specially developed in 1993 for passing through tight curves in mountain ranges at a high speed. Just before entering the curves, the train automatically tilts its body to mitigate the centrifugal force, so that it is called a "pendulum train" with a computer-controlled tilting mechanism. Thanks to this device, the 351 series has greatly reduced the travel time on the line. I like to see the E351 series traveling fast on curved tracks in the beautiful mountain ranges by tilting its bodies. A total of 10 sets (8-car and 4-car trains), and 60 units were built by Hitachi and Nippon Sharyo.

According to JR East, the last run of the E351 series will be in March, 2018. Panta rhei (All things are in a state of flux).

EMU JR East E351 series, limited express "Super-Azusa", arrives at Ootsuki Station

Official information about the EMU JR East E351 series by Nippon Sharyo (in Japanese):