|The new "digital" E235 train on the JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo.|
The Yamanote line's new E235 train comprising 11 cars began running yesterday, November 30. The new train features a lot more digital signage, and a lot more free space for wheelchairs and baby buggies. This is the first new Yamanote line train in 13 years.
Just one of the new trains has been put into operation at this stage and will be limited to no more than 19 circuits of the Yamanote line per day.
The E235 was inaugurated in a ceremony yesterday morning at Osaki Station, where the head of the Tokyo branch of JR East, Mr. Yasuyoshi Umehara, said "The Yanamote Line is fortunate in being able to serve as many customers as it does. We are confident that this new train will more than do its job."
However, so many problems were encountered on the first day that operations were suspended yesterday evening. At around 3:20 pm, the train overshot its designated stop point at Meguro Station by at least 30 cm; at about 6:45 pm there was a problem with a train door at Osaki Station, delaying the train by about 15 minutes; and at about 10:50 pm it overshot at Otsuka Station by about 1.5 m. Then the driver's monitor blanked out, forcing the train to stop at the next station and passengers to evacuate.
By 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics, JR East plans to have a total of 51 E235s running, completely replacing the current trains.
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