The E5 series (E5系) is a Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train type operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on Tohoku Shinkansen services since 5 March 2011 and on Hokkaido Shinkansen services since 26 March 2016. A total of 59 10-car sets are on order, with three sets in service in time for the start of new Hayabusa services to Shin-Aomori in March 2011.
Technology incorporated in these trains is derived from the experimental Fastech 360S train tested by JR East. The initial maximum speed in service was 300 km/h (186 mph), but this was raised to 320 km/h (199 mph) between Utsunomiya and Morioka from the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2013.
As of 26 March 2016, E5 series trainsets work in a pool with similar JR Hokkaido H5 series trainsets, and are used on the following services on the Tohoku and Hokkaido Shinkansen lines:Hayabusa, since March 2011
Hayate, since November 2011
Yamabiko, since November 2011
Nasuno, since March 2012
E5 series trainsets were first introduced on the new Hayabusa services between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori from 5 March 2011, initially operating at a maximum speed of 300 km/h. From 19 November 2011, a total of six E5 series trainsets were in operation, with sets also used on some Hayate and Yamabiko services. Hayate services operated coupled with E3 series Komachi services, and were limited to a maximum speed of 275 km/h. From the start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012, E5 series sets were also introduced used on some Nasuno all-stations services.
The exterior design of the trains is broadly based on the experimental Fastech 360S train, with a colour scheme of "Tokiwa" (常盤) green for the upper body and "Hiun" (飛雲) white for the lower body, separated by a "Hayate" pink stripe.
Car 10 (at the Aomori end) is designated "Gran Class", featuring 18 power-reclining "shell" seats with leather seat covers arranged in 2+1 abreast configuration. Originally given the provisional name "Super Green Car", seat pitch in the Gran Class car is 1,300 mm (51.2 in). Seats are 520 mm (20.5 in) wide and recline to a maximum angle of 45 degrees. The pre-series set, S11, did not initially include Gran Class accommodation.
Car 9 is designated as "Green car" (first class) accommodation with 55 seats arranged in 2+2 abreast configuration. Seat pitch is 1,160 mm (45.7 in). Seats are 475 mm (18.7 in) wide and recline to an angle of 31 degrees.
Ordinary-class cars (cars 1 to 8) have a seat pitch of 1,040 mm (40.9 in), which is 60 mm (2.4 in) larger than on the E2 series trains. Seating is arranged in 3+2 abreast configuration. AC power outlets are provided for window seats and rows of seats at car ends.
The production sets are formed as follows, with car 1 at the Tokyo end and car 10 at the Aomori end.
Cars 3 and 7 each have one single-arm pantograph, although only one is normally raised in service.
The pre-series set, S11, was delivered to Sendai Depot in May 2009 ahead of extensive test running on the Tohoku Shinkansen. Cars 1 to 5 were built by Hitachi in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and cars 6 to 10 were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Hyogo Prefecture. Set S11 made its first appearance at Tokyo Station on 9 December 2009.
The first full-production set, U2, was delivered to Sendai Depot in December 2010.
In May 2012, the E5 series was awarded the 2012 Blue Ribbon Award, presented annually by the Japan Railfan Club. A formal presentation ceremony was held at Tokyo Station on 20 November 2012.
The pre-series set, S11, was upgraded to full-production standard in February 2013 and renumbered U1. It retains the flush plug doors for the passenger doors immediately behind the driving cabs, whereas the full-production sets have recessed sliding doors.
From the start of the revised timetable on 16 March 2013, the maximum speed in service was raised from 300 km/h (186 mph) to 320 km/h (199 mph) between Utsunomiya and Morioka.
As of 31 December 2015, the fleet is as follows.
A special Joetsu Shinkansen 30th Anniversary (上越新幹線開業30周年号」, Jōetsu Shinkansen Kaigyō 30-shūnen-gō) service ran from Niigata to Tokyo on 17 November 2012 using E5 series set U8, with a special ceremony at Niigata Station before departure. This was the first revenue-earning service operated on the Joetsu Shinkansen by an E5 series trainset.
An order for four 10-car trainsets based on the E5 series design was placed by JR Hokkaido in February 2014 for use on Hokkaido Shinkansen services from March 2016. Classified H5 series, these trains incorporate minor interior design differences compared with the E5 series.