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JRS Photos of the Month October 2021

JR East E4 Series Shinkansen Farewell

With JR East retiring from service the E4 Series Shinkansen sets this month, we farewell the last double-deck high speed trains in service in Japan with an extended selection of photos from our members showcasing their time in service.


E4's were assigned to the fastest Tohoku Shinkansen services from delivery, and were routinely coupled to 400 series 'Mini-Shinkansen' sets between Fukushima & Tōkyō where the latter sets served Yamagata, as this shot from Oliver Mayer in March 1999 depicted, seen arriving at Ōmiya en-route to Tōkyō.

An E4 set had just arrived at Tōkyō 21st November 2004 with a Jōetsu Shinkansen service. This train is in the original E4 livery with a yellow line. The current pink, blue and white livery was adopted when the E4's were withdrawn from the Tōhoku Shinkansen and operated only on the Jōetsu Shinkansen. Photo: Stephen Turner

Arriving at Utsunomiya on the 6th April 2009. Photo: Alex Morley

The earlier E1 sets had a smoother yet less streamlined appearance compared with the E4's which gave them a squarer front profile, as this shot of a set arriving at Kōriyama on the 6th April 2009 illustrates.
Photo: Alex Morley

A coupled pair of E4's seen arriving at Takasaki on a damp 6th June 2014. Photo: Alex Morley

The same sets as above at Takasaki, with the coupling and 2 service liveries. 6th June 2014. Photo: Alex Morley

The cleaning team at Tōkyō Station was seen awaiting the arrival of a terminating service while a coupled pair of E4's was seen preparing for departure northbound on 25th May 2015. Photo: Alex Morley

E4 Set P11, leaving Ōmiya with a service for the Jōetsu Shinkansen on 27th May 2018. Photo: Oliver Mayer.

E4 Set P52, arriving at Ōmiya on 27th May 2018. Photo: Oliver Mayer.

Three E4s at Niigata in October 2019, when the majority of Jōetsu Shinkansen services were operated by E4s. Photo: Stephen Turner

Late afternoon on 28th August 2021 saw an E4 set laying over at Tōkyō station.. Photo: Anthony Robins

E4 at Echigo Yuzawa after being detached from a Max Toki & Max Tanigawa service at Echigo Yuzawa 19th Sept 2021. Photo: Fujikake Tomoki

E4 front in profile at Niigata Station 20th Sept 2021. Photo: Stephen Turner

E4 & E7 at Niigata 20th Sept 2021. The E4 is waiting for a Max Toki run to Tōkyō. Photo: Stephen Turner

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