Saturday, 15 June 2019

EMU E231-500 Series: Large Force on the Sobu Line

Set A515 of the JR East E231-500 series travels on the Chuo-Sobu local line

Replacing the EMU 209-500 series, one group of trains has been growing to become a large force on the JR East Sobu line (or the Chuo-Sobu local line). It is the EMU E231-500 series, which has moved from the Yamanote line.

The E231-500 series was launched in 2004 in response to JR East's new train controlling system, namely the Digital Automatic Train Control (D-ATC). A total of 52 sets, 572 cars, were built by JR East Niitsu Factory. The E231-500 series once became a major fleet on the Yamanote line; however, the world of the E231-500 series did not continue long. A new model, the E235 series, has recently been increasing in numbers on the Yamanote line. As a result, the old E231-500 series has been forced to move to the other line. The new address is the Sobu line. A total of 37 sets, 370 units, of the E231-500 series have already been transferred. After moving, the color of the body stripes was changed from light green (the Yamanote line color) to yellow (the Sobu line color).

Incidentally, a train on the Yamanote line consists of 11-cars, while that on the Sobu line is composed of 10-cars. Where did the one car go? The gimmick is as follows. One surplus car (Type SaHa E231-4600) was modified and coupled to the new model, the E235 series. The modified car (new name: Type SaHa E235-4600) has rain gutters, which extend out from the outside plate, so you can easily discern it from the new car.

Set A542 of the JR East E231-500 series arrives at Nakano station