Rahul Sharma (Editor)

521 series

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In service  November 2006–
Constructed  2006–
Number built  108 vehicles (54 sets)
Replaced  419 series
Number under construction  4 vehicles (2 sets)
521 series
Manufacturer  Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kinki Sharyo

The 521 series (521系, Gohyaku-nijūichi-kei) is a dual-voltage AC/DC outer-suburban electric multiple unit (EMU) train type operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR-West) and the third-sector railway operators IR Ishikawa Railway and Ainokaze Toyama Railway on local services in the Fukui and Kanazawa areas since November 2006.



The 521 series was the first dual-voltage suburban EMU type to be built for JR-West. The body of the first two batches was based on the 223-5000 series suburban EMU design, with the same WMT102C 230 kW traction motors. The sets are able to be used on wanman driver-only operation services.


  • Hokuriku Main Line (Maibara - Toyama)
  • Kosei Line (Ōmi-Imazu - Ōmi-Shiotsu)
  • Obama Line (Tsuruga - Higashi-Maizuru, sometimes substituted for 125 series)
  • Third-sector lines

  • IR Ishikawa Railway Line
  • Ainokaze Toyama Railway Line
  • Echigo Tokimeki Railway Nihonkai Hisui Line
  • Fleet

    As of 1 October 2014, the fleet consisted of 54 2-car sets, allocated to Kanazawa (30 sets, G01-G30) and Tsuruga (24 sets, E01-E05, J01-J19) depots. The Kanazawa-based "G" sets and Tsuruga-based "J" sets are used between Kanazawa and Tsuruga. The Tsuruga-based are used between Maibara and Fukui.

    19 third-batch 2-car sets (J01 to J19) were delivered to Tsuruga Depot in fiscal 2013. The third-batch sets have cab ends based on the JR-West 225 series EMUs, with improved crash resistance, and use LED lighting for interior lighting. These sets entered revenue service in spring 2014.

    From 14 March 2015, five sets were operated by the third-sector railway operator IR Ishikawa Railway and 16 sets were operated by the Ainokaze Toyama Railway.


    Sets consist of one motored and one non-powered trailer car, and are formed as follows.

    The KuHa 520 cars are each fitted with one WPD28D single-arm pantograph.


    Seating is arranged as 2+2 abreast transverse flip-over seats. The KuHa 520 cars include a toilet.


    The first five sets, E01 to E05, were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Kinki Sharyo, and were delivered to Fukui depot between September and October 2006. These entered revenue service from 30 November 2006. The fleet was reallocated to Tsuruga Depot from 1 June 2010.

    Ten more sets, G01 to G10, built by Kinki Sharyo, were delivered to Kanazawa depot between October 2009 and March 2010, entering revenue service from 13 March 2010. A further five sets, G11 to G15, were delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries in December 2010 and January 2011. 15 more sets, M01 to M15, were delivered from Kawasaki Heavy Industries to Tsuruga Depot between January and March 2011.

    Other operators

    16 two-car 521 series sets were transferred to the third-sector railway operating company Ainokaze Toyama Railway for use from 14 March 2015 when JR-West handed over ownership of the sections of the Hokuriku Main Line in Toyama Prefecture running parallel to the new Hokuriku Shinkansen. Likewise, three two-car sets were transferred to the IR Ishikawa Railway, which took over control of the section of the Hokuriku Main Line in Ishikawa Prefecture from 14 March 2015. Two more sets were newly built for the IR Ishikawa Railway.

    Ainokaze Toyama Railway

    As of 1 April 2015, the Ainokaze Toyama Railway 521 series fleet is as follows.

    IR Ishikawa Railway

    As of 1 April 2015, the IR Ishikawa Railway 521 series fleet is as follows.


    521 series Wikipedia

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