updated on 30th Mar 2021 19:27 posted on 30th Mar 2021 11:55
With the start of the new 2021 timetable, on 13 March 2021, new Class E131 EMUs, built by J-TREC, entered commercial service on the Kashima, Narita, Sotobō and Uchibō Lines in Chiba prefecture.
Two EMUs of the batch of 12 were in the test service on the above mentioned lines from July 2020. New two-car EMUs are the first one working in driver-only operation (so called one-man services - ワンマン), unlike the previous Class 209 EMUs, with conductor on board. Two trains of the batch have additional equipment to collect data for track condition monitoring during their service.
The 1,067 mm gauge Class E131 EMUs are 39.6 m long, 2,950 mm wide (which is 150 mm more than at the previous Class 209) and 3,620 mm high with pantograph lowered. One car is powered, with four 150 kW traction motors fed from SiC traction inverter. The second car is a trailing one. The train is operated off 1,500 V DC catenary and its maximum service speed is 110 km/h. An on-board ATC is of a Type ATS-P.
The bodyshell is made of stainless steel with four two-leaf sliding doors on each side, which have buttons to open on request instead being opened all centrally. There is CCTV and wheelchair accessible toilet. There are displays above doors, one showing the route and station details, the second one advertisements. The EMU's color scheme is "Pacific ocean wave".
The E131s replaced on rural stretches of mentioned lines the six-car Class 209-2000/2100 EMUs produced between 2009 and 2013.