Saturday, 6 January 2018

EMU E353 Series: New "Super-Azusa" on the Chuo Line

EMU JR East E353 series stands at Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Main Line

On December 23rd, 2017, JR East launched a new express train model, EMU E353 series, on their Chuo Main Line. The E353 series was started to commission as a limited express train, "Super-Azusa", between Shinjuku and Matsumoto stations.

As I posted before, Super-Azusa is the representative train on the eastern half of the Chuo Main Line. It debuted in 1993 using the specially developed model, EMU E351 series, for passing through tight curves in mountain ranges at a high speed. Just before entering the tight curves, the train automatically tilts its body to mitigate the centrifugal force. So, it's called a "pendulum train" with a computer-controlled tilting mechanism. Thanks to this device, the E351 series, Super-Azusa, has greatly reduced the travel time on the line.

24 years have already passed since then. The E351 series has become older. Eventually, the E353 series has been introduced to replace the E351 series. What are the differences between the E353 and the E351 series? Firstly, the E353 series is composed of an 8-car regular train and a 4-car auxiliary train; whereas the E351 series consists of a 9-car and a 3-car train. Secondly, a new technology, namely an air suspension type tilting system, is applied to the E353 series instead of a pendulum type tilting system on the E351 series. Furthermore, the E353 series has air cleaners. Power outlets are equipped under the seats of the E353 series.

The maximum operating speed of the E353 series is 130 km/hour on the 1,067 mm-wide track.

Close up of the KuMoHa E353-4

Official information about the EMU JR East E353 series (in Japanese):