Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 9 (Inside front olor & pp.38–41)

Photostory
JR COMMUTER TRAINS

Before privatization, Japanese National Railways had a very simple and uniform design policy for commuter trains. For shortdistance trains (less than 50 km), the coaches were 20-m long, with four side-doors and bench seats. For longer commuting, the coaches were also 20-m long, but with three side-doors and a combined seat arrangement—a mix of booths and benches in one coach. New trains were used only in the Tokyo and Osaka areas, the most important business centres; other cities got only old cars used previously in Tokyo and Osaka. After privatization, the JRs have developed new commuter trains meeting the needs of their regions, resulting in a rich variety of train designs.
Naohisa Imazu

Photo: JR East's Series 209
JR East's Series 209 was designed as a new standard model for short-distance services in the Tokyo area. It has a light stainless-steel body and VVVF inverter control. It was introduced in 1992 and is currently used on the Keihin-Tohoku, Nambu and Hachiko Lines.
(The Railway Pictorial)

Photo: JR East's Series 215
JR East's Series 215 was introduced in 1992. It was designed for a fullyreserved- seat commuting service of 10 double-decker cars running on the Tokaido line.
(The Railway Pictorial)

Photo: JR East's Series E217
JR East's Series E217 was introduced in 1994 as a new standard model for medium- to long-distance commuting services. It has a 15-car formation, including two double-deckers. Most coaches use benches while some have a mix of benches and booth seats providing more comfort for long-distance commuters.
(The Railway Pictorial)

Photo: JR Hokkaido's Class KIHA 143
JR Hokkaido's Class KIHA 143 is a 3-car commuter train made up of a DMU modified from Series 51 loco-hauled coaches. It was introduced to meet increasing transport demand in the Sapporo City area.
(Tetsuya Kono)

Photo: JR Tokai's Series 311 EMU
JR Tokai's Series 311 EMU was introduced in 1989 for rapid commuter services in the Nagoya City area of the Tokaido Line. It has a 4-car formation, 20-m coach body, three side-doors and convertible booth seats.
(Yuji Manabe)

Photo: JR West's Series 207 EMU
JR West's Series 207 EMU is a representative commuter train used widely in the company's urban network. This light, stainless-steel, VVVF inverter-controlled train was introduced in 1991 in preparation for the 1997 opening of the JR Tozai Line which will cut through the centre of Osaka.
(Yuji Manabe)

Photo: JR Shikoku's Series 6000 EMU
JR Shikoku's Series 6000 EMU is currently used to serve lines in Shikoku and the Seto Bridge linking the Shikoku and Honshu islands. This commuter train was introduced in 1996. It has a 3-car formation with VVVF inverter control, a light stainless-steel 20-m body, 3 side-doors and convertible booth seats.
(Yuji Manabe)

Photo: JR Kyushu's Series 813 EMU
JR Kyushu's Series 813 EMU was introduced in 1994 as the standard model for commuter transport in the Greater Fukuoka Area. It uses a 2-car formation for greater flexibility. The light stainless-steel train is furnished with convertible booth seats and now serves the Kagoshima Line.
(Yuji Manabe)

Photo: JR Kyushu's Class KIHA 200 (Yuji Manabe) JR Kyushu's Class KIHA 200 is a DMU introduced in 1991 to upgrade the nonelectrified commuting services in Fukuoka City. Its advanced technologies offer efficiency and comfort comparable to an electric train. It is currently used as express trains serving various regions of Kyushu.
(Yuji Manabe)


RETROSPECT OF COMMUTER TRAINS IN LAST 50 YEARS
Few trains escaped damage from the war and when the war was finally over in 1945, the remaining trains were badly over-used in a desperate attempt to provide transport in cities. With the ever-increasing numbers of customers, congestion became synonymous with commuter trains. Half a century has passed, and commuter transport services have seen great improvements in keeping up with social changes resulting from the rapid economic growth. However, overcrowding still remains a serious problem. Modernization and innovation have also been pursued with great enthusiasm.
Naohisa Imazu
Short-Distance Commuter Train Series

Photo: MOHA 63 EMU (Wartime design)
The MOHA 63 EMU was manufactured at the end of the war when reduction of materials and simplification of production took priority. 950 of these primitively-furnished trains were still in use in the Tokyo and Osaka areas until the late 1940s. Some major modifications were made later and it was renamed the MOHA 72. Some of the modified trains survived into early 1980s, becoming the prototype for later innovative commuter trains.
(Akira Ito)

Photo: MOHA 63 Interior
(Satoshi Kubo)

Photo: Series 101 (JNR's first high-performance train)
The Series 101 with quick acceleration and deceleration, was developed to reduce headway and increase speed. Characterized by a small, lightweight, highspeed motor, cardan-shaft transmission and light steel body, it was used widely on the Chuo, Yamanote and other lines in Tokyo from 1957 to 1991.
(Satoshi Kubo)

Photo: Series 103 (High-efficiency train)
The Series 103 was based on the Series 101 technology but improved for more economical operation. It had the same 20-m body, four double side-doors and bench seats as the Series 101. From entering service on the Yamanote Line in 1964 until 1984, 3447 units were manufactured, marking the largest number ever produced in the same series. Some can still be seen in the Tokyo and Osaka areas.
(The Railway Pictorial)

Photo: Series 205 (Lightweight stainless-steel model)
The Series 205 was developed as an economic substitute for the Series 101 and 103, with emphasis on energy and labour saving. It introduced a new image for commuter trains with a light stainless-steel body and large windows. Since its introduction in 1985, it has served many lines in the Tokyo and Osaka areas.
(The Railway Pictorial)

Mid- to Long-Distance Commuter Train Series

Photo: Series 70 (Forerunner of suburban commuter trains)
The Series 70 was introduced as a mid- to long-distance commuter train for the Yokosuka Line in 1951. It had a 20- m body, 3 side-doors and a seat layout made up mostly of booth seats with benches near the doors.
(Satoshi Kubo)

Photo: Series 113 (Newly-improved suburban train)
The Series 113 was developed from the old Series 70 in the 1960s as one of the improved standard models for mid- to long-distance trains. It was introduced to the Tokaido and Yokosuka Lines in 1964. Today, the similar Photo: Series 115 and 415 are used widely in big cities.
(Takanori Hagawa)

Photo: Series 211 (Model with light stainless-steel body)
The Series 211 was developed as a mid- to long-distance commuter train based on the Series 205 concept. Production started in 1985; it is made of lightweight stainless steel, and furnished with both booths and benches. It is the main model on Tokyo's Tohoku and Takasaki Lines, as well as the JR Central part of the Tokaido Line.
(The Railway Pictorial)

DMU Commuter Train Series

Photo: KIHA 35 DMU (Commuter train for non-electrified section)
The KIHA 35 DMU was manufactured between 1961 to 1966 as a short-distance commuter train. Characterized by a 20-m body, three side-doors and bench seats, it served many lines in the Tokyo and Kansai areas before electrification. Most of these trains are now retired from service.
(Shigeru Onoda)


Interior Design of Modern Commuter Trains

Photo: JR East's Series 209
JR East's Series 209 has long cantilever seats, with neatly-partitioned seat cushions to allow seating for more people.
(The Railway Pictorial)
Photo: JR East's Series 209 six-door model
JR East's Series 209 six-door model has folding seats for three people installed between doors. The seats are automatically folded up during the morning peak rush hours.
(The Railway Pictorial)
Photo: JR West's Series 207
JR West's Series 207 only has bench seats and no vertical poles at seat ends as seen in many other models.
(The Railway Pictorial)
Photo: JR East's Series 217
JR East's Series 217 has two types of coaches with different seating arrangements. This one has a mixed arrangement of bench and booth seat.
(The Railway Pictorial)
Photo: JR Hokkaido's KIHA 143 DMU
JR Hokkaido's KIHA 143 DMU has a mixed arrangement of bench and booth seats. The booths seat one person on one side of the aisle and two persons on the other side.
(JR Hokkaido)
Photo: JR Kyushu's Series 813
JR Kyushu's Series 813 is an example of a coach with convertible booths.
(The Railway Pictorial)