JNR/JR Series 103

This week I'll write about another electric multiple unit designed over half a century ago and is still going strong. The Series 103 is a workhorse of the Japanese suburban railroad fleet having carried millions and possibly billions or more passengers over the years. Over 3 447 cars of many variants in the Series 103 have been built since 1963 and more than 300 still remain in service today.

Like many other rail vehicles in Japan, production of the Series 103 was taken part in by a number of manufactures and the last of this series of EMU was not built until 1984. A select number of sets were also refurbished between 1996 and 2005.

Every axle of the Series 103 was powered by a 148 hp DC traction motor and the entire car body is constructed of ordinary carbon steel. This gives the Series 103 a top speed of 62 mph. To help stopping while help reducing brake shoe wear, electro-pnumatic brake is accompanied by dynamic brake.

Like the mechanical variants of this EMU, they also come in many different lengths of consists and color schemes on many rail lines in both urban and rural Japan. Some retired trainsets also have found a second life in Indonesia.


Andy_in_Germany said…
From experience riding them, they are built like tanks. The equipment looks a litle dated -no plastic and microprocessors here- but they are always clean and they work.

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