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E235-1000 series for the Yokosuka/Sobu Line


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15 hours ago, 200系 said:

That said, on the 12th of November EF64 1031 was apparently used to see if there were any issues with forwarding E217 series cars under tow. As EF64 1031, based at the Nagano General Vehicle centre, is often used for the transport of scrapped cars towards Nagano, this might be a strong signal that at least some cars will be dismantled in the future.

Trains are also sent to Nagano General Vehicle Centre for refurbishment for use on another line, for example the E231-0 from the Chuo-Sobu Line were sent to Nagano of which 8 of the 10 cars where refurbished and the 2 left over cars where scrapped, similar story with the E257-0 of which the 9 car sets where refurbished while the 2 car sets where scrapped on the same location.

15 hours ago, 200系 said:

The second possible reason for scrapping rather than transferring them to another line, would be, in my opinion, that there's simply nowhere to transfer them to. The bulk of the remaining series in need of retirement, primarily the 205 series, have already been replaced by surplus 209 series 500 sub-type and E231 series 0 sub-type cars retired from the Chūō-Sōbu line (and two, former Chūō-Sōbu line formations from the Jōban line) over the last few years. What's remains is just a handful of 205 series on the Tsurumi and Nikkō/Utsunomiya line, the 211 series in the Nagano area, and most likely the 209 series 2100/2200 sub-type cars in the Bōsō area (which are of the same vintage as the E217 series, so there's no reason to replace them with the E217 series, most likely the E131 series will start playing that roll in the future).

There still are the 205-500 (13x4 sets) from Sagami Line, 211-3000 (23x4 + 7x6 sets) from Takasaki Area and 205-3100 (17x4 sets) from the Senseki Line in Sendai.

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In my opinion (and I hate to say this), but the E217 series train sets are likely head to only one place: the scrapyard. They were probably built like the 209 series, meant to be scrapped after retirement. After all, these train sets, as mentioned earlier, ran often a one way between Kurihama in Kanagawa Prefecture all the way to Kazusa-Ichinomiya in Chiba Prefecture.

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For those interested, Ayokoi san has uploaded a very nice Zenmen-Tembo video on the Yokosuka line section of the Sōbu Rapid/Yokosuka line.


Shot in E235 series 1000 sub-type 11 car formation F-02 between Ōfuna and Yokosuka:



While Meitetsu1704 san has posted two excellent audio recordings (running sounds). The E235 series uses a SiC-VVVF traction installation, coupled to a TD Drive (JR East has been using this as a standard for new vehicles ever since the introduction of the 901 series (209 series 900 sub-type) in 1992).



Meanwhile on the E217 series side of the front, formation Y-44, which exited service in December last year, was forwarded to the Nagano General Vehicle Centre on the 5th of January by EF64 1031. As the pan head, as well as the door stickers had been removed it was speculated that this formation had already been formally scrapped (administratively).


by Train-Fan.com: Love the 185 series passing at 2:21.


and ya1964ma san: Recomended channel for anyone interested in the Nagano area.


The formation has been split, with the cars stored in the scrap car storage area of the Nagano Centre. This happened on the 7th of January.

On the 8th of January, MoHa E216-1044 and MoHa E217-44 were moved form the storage area to the dismantling line.


by ichi pika san: same as above, excelent videos out of the Nagano area


Today, January 12th, work on the dismantling of MoHa E217-44 commenced, while at the same time it looks like workers were removing parts of the interior from MoHa E216-1044.

Footage below (viewer discretion is advised):

By 平林久人 (highly recomended for Nagano General Vehicle Centre videos, usually quick to upload) and ichi pika:


Interestingly, half of last remaining 189 series N102, which had been moved to the dismantling line in late December last year, has been moved out back to the storage facility in order to make room for the first E217 formation. Even though apparently a number of seats were removed, there was no further dismantling. The future of this formation, having been stored in the scrap car detainment area for the past 1 1/2 years (she was retired on June the 25th 2019) remains uncertain, with the movements of this formation over the last few months being nothing short of bizarre.


On 12/26/2020 at 9:39 PM, Dentobu93 said:

Trains are also sent to Nagano General Vehicle Centre for refurbishment for use on another line,


My apologies, I should have explained my reasoning a bit better.


You are of course correct, and of course Nagano isn't the only location JR East uses for dismantling, though AFAIK it is the largest.

however when taking a sample out of some of the major renewal/update programs, at least those related to the Kantō area commuter/suburban units, over the past 2 decades:


- Yamanote line 205 series MoHa 204/205 -> Musashino line 205 series MoHa 204-5000/205-5000 (Koyama (?), Ōmiya, Tōkyō, Akita, Kōriyama and Nagano (4 cars only))

- 209 series 0 sub-type cars, diverted from the Keihin-Tōhoku line -> Makahari Vehicle centre  209 series 2000/2100 sub-type remodeling (Tōkyō, Ōmiya, Akita, Kōriyama and Nagano (2, out of 26, 6 car (C601~C626) formations and 12 out of 42, 4 car (C401~C442) formations)

- E217 series equipment renewal/update, (Tōkyō General Vehicle Centre (all formations))

- Chūō-Sōbu line 209 series 500 sub-type -> Kawagoe line 209 series 3500 sub-type (Kōriyama, 5 formations)

- Chūō-Sōbu line 209 series 500 sub-type -> Musashino Line (Akita 11 formations)

- Chūō-Sōbu line E231 series 0 sub-type 4M6T -> 6M4T Formations (Aomori 6 formations)

- Chūō-Sōbu line E231 series 0 sub-type cars -> Kawagoe line E231 series 3000 sub-type (Aomori, 5 formations)

- Chūō-Sōbu line E231 series 0 sub-type 10 car B formations -> Keiyō Centre 8 car MU (Musashino) formations (Aomori Remodeling Centre (4 formations), Ōmiya (10 formations) Nagano (5 formations + 1) Akita (6 formations) Tōkyō (11 formations)

- Chūō-Sōbu line E231 series 900 sub-type formation B901 -> Keiyō MU-1 (Ōmiya)

- Yamanote line E231 series 500 sub-type -> Mitaka centre formations A501~A552 (A520 and A540 were remodeled at Nagano, all the others at Tōkyō)


Note, that while you are correct in that Nagano has played a not insignificant part in the reconstruction work, the majority of this work actually wasn't performed at the Nagano Centre, with the Tōkyō and Ōmiya taking the largest share. It looks like, from what I can infer, that unless there are multiple projects going on at once, or there is a lot of other work (general inspections etc.) JR East will try to do most of the work at either Tōkyō or Ōmiya, not unreasonable considering the logistics involved.


If we compare this to the Kantō area cars forwarded to, and dismantled at, the Nagano Centre:



- Chūō Rapid line, Toyada centre 201 series formations

- Makahari Vehicle Centre 113 series formations

- Keihin-Tōhoku line, Saitama Centre 209 series: the 5 full formations that were dismantled (formations 1, 3~5 and 7) and all the surplus cars (all Kawasaki built MoHa 208/209 cars, plus the SaHa 208/209 cars)

- Tamachi/Takasaki Vehicle centre  211 series 0/1000/2000 and 3000 sub-type formations (10+5 car formations), all surplus cars (A large number of SaHa 211 and all SaRo 211/212 cars)

- E351 series, all formations (both main and additional formations), though to be fair they were Matsumoto based so not entirely applicable.

- 251 series, all formations

- Surplus E231 series 0 sub-type cars as mentioned above, both from the formations remodeled at Nagano, and a number forwarded from Ōmiya and Tōkyō

- The three Toyada Centre based 189 series formations, M50~M52.


With this in mind, and the information that EF64 1031 is mainly used for the transportation of scrapped vehicles (i.e. those that have already been removed from the books (i.e. they are officially no longer in service, and administratively don't exist anymore, at least not as a train), but have not yet been dismantled, lead me to the conclusion that most E217 series cars to be forwarded to Nagano would be dismantled. As is borne out by the information shown above.


Does this mean I personally think all is set in stone? of course not, there is, like you mentioned, a possibility that at least some cars will go through renewal and re-use on another line, however at this point there is an equal change all cars will end up dismantled. 3 Years is a long time, and a lot of things can change, the same is true for any concrete plans JR East might have. Do note though, that JR East has mentioned (in an 2018 article) that they plan to introduce the E235 series on a number of different lines in the future (IRC, the Keihin-Tōhoku line was one of the mentioned lines), so it might be the case that there might be better, newer, alternatives to the E217 series at hand in the future.


As for now, I'm in the wait and see camp, and I'll just keep observing (and analyzing, or at least trying to) the movements related to the E217 series (just preserve at least 1 car JR East, pretty please?).


On 12/26/2020 at 9:39 PM, Dentobu93 said:

for example the E231-0 from the Chuo-Sobu Line were sent to Nagano of which 8 of the 10 cars where refurbished and the 2 left over cars where scrapped, similar story with the E257-0 of which the 9 car sets where refurbished while the 2 car sets where scrapped on the same location.


The Nagano General Vehicle Centre, as mentioned above only updated a number of E231 series cars, as mentioned above. They did take in a number of surplus cars from Tōkyō and Ōmiya Centre for dismantling though.

The E257 series cars were all based in Matsumoto centre, hence them going to Nagano, where their general inspection were performed anyway (irc), isn't that unusual. They can make the journey on their own anyway, and it's a lot closer to their base in comparison to for example the E217 series.


Also, as in both cases cars were actually dismantled, it technically doesn't invalidate what I said ;).



On 12/27/2020 at 6:20 AM, Sacto1985 said:

They were probably built like the 209 series


Though based on the 209 series concept, and using a similar traction installation, the E217 series is not built like the 209 series.


First of all, the E217 series uses an entirely new body, whereas the 209 series was built along the same dimensions as the standard JNR era commuter types (mostly to save weight), the E217 series, as a suburban type, would more closely follow the dimensions of the suburban types, hence the E217 has what is often called a "widebody".

The E217 series however, can be regarded as a first step between the combination of a commuting type and suburban type (because of the nature of the Sōbū rapid line), hence why she was designed with 4 doors per side, as opposed to 3 on the JNR Suburban types.

In fact the E217 series car body design would form the basis for the E231 series, which would be the first to combine both.


Second, the E217 series would the first of the JR East units built according to the value engineering principle (Jūryō Hanbun, Kakaku Hanbun, Jumyō Hanbun (Half weight, half price, half life)) to use thicker outer plating, 1.5mm stainless steel on the E217 series and later, versus 1.2mm stainless steel plating on the 209 series. This, seemingly, has helped prevent some most of the deformation issues the 209 series suffered from. This change would also be used on the E501 series and Tōkyō Rinkai 70-000 type cars, which were based on the 209 series body. 


Third, not all 209 series were build exactly the same. One of the ways to achieve the desired reduction in cost (kakaku hanbun), was to allow minor deviations in the construction of the cars, to allow for improved efficiency in the manufacturing process (and hence reduce costs). Though the shape of the cars are largely identical, there are some notable difference between cars built by Tōkyū Sharyō/Niitsu/Ōfuna and those built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Tōkyū Sharyō, and by extension Niitsu and Ōfuna, used a variation of the light stainless steel construction Tōkyū Sharyō had developed in the mid 1980's (and had been used in among others the 205 series and the 211 series for JNR), in its self a further development on the full stainless steel construction they had, under lisence from Budd, used since 1962. With this construction method they used a conventional, though lightweight, stainless steel frame up on which the lightweight stainless steel plating was fitted, hence the frames provide part of the car body strength. This can actually be seen in the dismantling videos shown above.


Kawasaki on the other hand used their own, patented, two sheet construction method. In this method, two stainless steel plates are bonded together, forming a much stronger plate. With this method the strength of the car body its self would be enough to provide the required strength, hence no need for additional frames. Kawasaki also added beads to the ends of the cars they built for extra strength, this is one of the easiest way to recognise a Kawasaki built 209 series, and upwards, car.

Interestingly, of the Keihin-Tōhoku line 209 series cars/formations that were scrapped, all of the Kawasaki built MoHa208/209 cars were dismantled after they were retired from the Keihin-Tōhoku line. Though, interestingly, the oldest of the Jūryō Hanbun, Kakaku Hanbun, Jumyō Hanbun, cars in service at this moment, KuHa 208/209-2006, built on the 12th of March 1993, was actually built by Kawasaki. She will likely celebrate her 28th birthday in March of this year, not too shabby for a train "meant to be scrapped after retirement" not?


On 12/27/2020 at 6:20 AM, Sacto1985 said:

meant to be scrapped after retirement.


If I'm not mistaken you're referring to the disposable car myth aren't you? First of all, I've tried to explain the Half Weight, Half Cost, Half Life concept to you a few years ago, only for it to be ignored, so this time I'll try to keep it short (also because I feel I've been going off topic for some time now).

In short, no this is not the case, or at least not in the way you're alluding to.


The, Jūryō Hanbun, Kakaku Hanbun, Jumyō Hanbun, type cars are not intended to be scrapped after they are retired from the line they started on, nor are they meant as disposable cars to be dismantled after a certain number of years in service.

In fact the Half Life (Jumyō Hanbun) part, specifically refers to the depreciation period used for railway vehicles. Traditionally, the mandatory depreciation period used for a railway vehicle in Japan was mandated at around 15 years, this meant that after 15 years the vehicle was to be paid off. This didn't mean the vehicle had to be retired, as can be seen by the number of trains which had a service life well in exces of this time period, however it did mean the vehicle would be cost nuetral from this point on (i.e. if the car would have to be scrapped there would be no extra costs beyond the normal).

For the Half Life cars, JR East was able to reduce this period down to half (hence half life, jumyō hanbun), this was done by keeping the cost down (half cost, kakaku hanbun), which was mainly achieved by reducing the weight per car (half weight, jūryō hanbun), which allowed a reduced number of powered cars (4M6T for a 10 car formations, as opposed to 6M4T for a 103/201 or 205 series formation) which are more expensive to build, as well as the mentioned manufacturing freedom afforded to the manufacturers.


This reduced depreciation life allowed JR East the freedom to renew/update the car after the depreciation period had lapsed, whenever the cars became surplus due to other reasons.

This, in combination of a guaranteed, heavy maintenance free, 2.4 million km service life of the running gear/electrical components, was meant to prevent the technological stagnation which had happened, for various reasons, during the JNR era, as it was meant to allow JR East to upgrade their trains after a much shorter period, allowing JR East to keep their fleet efficient and up to date. Of course this also meant that if cars were surplus after this period, it was also easier to dismantle them if necessary, however this was not the main idea behind the half life part.


Unfortunately, with the retirement of the 209 series 0 sub types, and especially the deterioration of the former 901 series, 209 series 900 sub-types, the myth that they were designed as disposable cars took hold, as well as the link to the half life part of their design. Add to this the emphasis on recyclability by JR East, and the economical, to the point of austere exterior design, they had already developed somewhat of a negative image with a part of the railfan community (both in Japan and internationally, they were often compared to disposable cameras in Japan).

However, ironically, the problem for the 209 series was much closer related to the half weight part of their design than the half life part. As mentioned the original 209 series used 1.2 mm thick outer plating, which has proven to be a bit too light. As such the 209 series 900 sub-type cars started to show severe deformations of the car body at around 2006, with the 209 series 0 sub-type cars showing similar signs. This was earlier than anticipated, hence the quick decision to retire them in favour of new build E233 series 1000 sub-types starting in 2007.


Still despite all this, with exception of the 209 series 900 sub-types, a large number of the surplus 209 series 0 sub-type cars would go through renewal and find a second home in the Chiba region.

In the end, despite their issues, only 5 full formations would be scrapped. While a large number of surplus cars would face the same fate (mainly SaHa 208/209 cars), the majority of the KuHa 208/209 and MoHa 208/209 (with exception of the Kawasaki built cars, and a small number of earlier cars) cars would go through renewal, all of them still in service at this point in time.


Other example would include:


-The E231 series 900 sub-type formation B901. Built in October 1998 by Niitsu and Kawasaki, she was one of the final (4M6T) E231 series formations to retire from the Chūō-Sōbu line in March of 2020. As she was the prototype formation, I feared there was a possibility she might end up being dismantled. However, on the 10th of July 2020 she re-entered service on the Musashino line, as formation MU-1 after being renewed. 



- The other E231 series 0 sub-type cars, as already mentioned. After retirement from the Chūō-Sōbu line most of them were transferred to the Musashino line after renewal (with the other 5 going to the Kawagoe line, also after renewal). If they follow the same pattern as the 205 series 5000 sub-type formations, and I see no reasson why they shouldn't, they should be able to stay in service for, at least, around 10 years after renewal. This would mean the oldest, MU-1 has the, theoratical, possibility to approach 32 years in service. This is of course speculation, and there is absolutely no guarantee that this will play out of course, but I'd like to think this is a serious possibility.


- Even the E217 series, though the future is uncertain, as they have reached 21~26 year service lifes already. They already went through at least one renewal, and while retirements are happening, at the same time general inspections are still taking place, it will be interesting to see which of the formations will survive the longest, and if the oldest formations might still go through another general inspection cycle.

While this may not disprove the retirement = dismantling part, it is interesting to note that their service life is more or less on par with a number of JNR, including their predecessors, the 113 series 1000 sub-type cars (as I mentioned in my previous post), and even exceeded a number of them (notably the MT46 type powered series, e.g. large scale retirement of the first 101 series cars started around 1978, this car had been built in 1962. by the mid 1980's most had been dismantled, with only a handfull surviving the JNR split)




Anyway, while I intended to keep my reply short, I'm apparently not that good at keeping my wordcount to a minimum and, as usual, it turned into a wordy thing which then turned into this even wordier thing. I hope this is informative enough for you guys (and gals), and my appologies for going further off topic.

Edited by 200系
slight gramar correction
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Not at all 200, always great reads as your knowledge and willingness to explain clearly is great! Always great info!





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🤷‍♂️ you get used to it...


Mind you it's still a bit odd around lunchtime when the front cab of an E235 series pops open to reveal a giant steaming konbini o-bento...

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