Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

157 series

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In service  September 1959 –1980
Number built  32 vehicles
Number preserved  1 vehicle
Constructed  1959-1963
Number in service  None
157 series
Manufacturer  Kawasaki Sharyo, Kisha, Nippon Sharyo

The 157 series (157系) was a Japanese DC electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated on limited express services by Japanese National Railways (JNR) from 1959 until 1980.



The 157 series EMUs were first introduced by JNR on Nikkō semi express services between Tokyo and Nikkō from 22 September 1959 to counter competition from the private company Tobu Railway, which also operated trains to Nikkō. They were also used on Chusenji services between Shinjuku and Nikkō, and Nasuno services between Ueno and Kuroiso.

157 series EMUs were also introduced on seasonal Hibiki services on the Tokaido Main Line from 21 November 1959, and were later used on Amagi and Soyokaze services.

Fleet details

  • KuMoHa 157-1 – 10: Driving motor cars
  • MoHa 156-1 – 10: Intermediate motor cars, with one pantograph
  • SaHa 157-1 – 5: Intermediate trailer cars
  • SaRo 157-1 – 6: Intermediate "Green" (first class) trailer cars
  • KuRo 157-1: Imperial train car (see below)
  • KuRo 157-1 imperial train car

    The 157 series fleet included a dedicated imperial train car, built by Kawasaki Sharyo (present-day Kawasaki Heavy Industries) and delivered in June 1960. Numbered KuRo 157-1, the car could be inserted into 157 series formations for use on imperial train workings. One end had a gangwayed driving cab based on the 153 series EMU design, although the car was normally sandwiched in the middle of a 157 series formation, and was only very rarely used with the driving cab leading. In 1979, the car was modified for use in conjunction with 183 series EMUs, with the first official working on 2 July 1980. From March 1985, it was repainted in cream with a green stripe for use in conjunction with 185 series EMUs.

    The last official operation of the car was on 8 September 1993.

    Following retirement, the KuRo 157-1 car remained in storage at Tamachi Depot for many years, but was moved to Tokyo General Rolling Stock Centre in the early hours of 2 December 2012.


    The first 157 series set was delivered in August 1959, and entered service on Nikkō semi express services between Tokyo and Nikkō from 22 September 1959. Air-conditioning was added to the trains from 1962.

    With the exception of the special imperial train car KuRo 157-1, the entire fleet of 157 series trains was withdrawn by 1980.

    Fleet details

    The individual car histories are as follows.


    157 series Wikipedia

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