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Narita Express

Narita Express
E259 series EMUs on a Narita Express service, May 2014
Service type Limited express
Locale Kanto region, Japan
First service 19 March 1991
Current operator(s) JR East
Line used Yokosuka Line, Chuo Main Line, Sobu Rapid Line, Narita Line
On-board services
Class(es) Standard + Green
Seating arrangements Forward facing 2+2
Catering facilities Trolley service
Baggage facilities Lockable baggage areas
Rolling stock E259 series EMUs
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification 1,500 V DC overhead
Operating speed 130 km/h (80 mph)[1]

Narita Express (成田エクスプレス Narita ekusupuresu), abbreviated as N'EX, is a limited express train service operated in Japan since 1991 by East Japan Railway Company (JR East), serving Narita International Airport from various Greater Tokyo Area stations. Services are approximately half-hourly in the mornings and evenings, and hourly through the middle of the day. The main competition for the Narita Express is Keisei Electric Railway's Skyliner.


  • Trains and destinations 1
  • Formations 2
  • Interior 3
  • History 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Trains and destinations

Two E259 series trainsets dividing at Tokyo Station, February 2011
Route diagram

Narita Express trains serve various stations in the Greater Tokyo Area. Trains are formed of dedicated E259 series 6-car EMU sets,[2] with all trains passing through Tokyo Station, where services are coupled or uncoupled. Usually, a train from Ōfuna or Yokohama is coupled with a train from Shinjuku, Ikebukuro or Ōmiya to form one train set for the remainder of the journey to Narita Airport (via the Sōbu Main Line and Narita Line). On the return journey, the reverse is true. From Ōfuna, a small number of seasonal trains continue to Kamakura and Yokosuka on the Yokosuka Line, and from Takao, a small number of seasonal trains continue to Otsuki and Kawaguchiko on the Fujikyuko Line.

The majority of Narita Express services do not stop between Tokyo and Airport Terminal 2 Station. In the morning and evening rush hours, however, the Narita Express serves as a commuter express, stopping at Chiba, Yotsukaidō, Sakura, and Narita. The average time between Tokyo and Narita Airport is between 55 minutes and an hour. All seats are reserved, with both Standard and Green (first class) accommodation available.


As of March 2012, services operate as twelve-car formations, as shown below, with car 1 at the Shinjuku/Yokohama end, and car 12 at the Narita Airport end.[3] All cars are reserved, with Green (first class) car accommodation in cars 6 and 12.[4]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Numbering KuHa E258 MoHa E258 MoHa E259 MoHa E258-500 MoHa E259-500 KuRo E259 KuHa E258 MoHa E258 MoHa E259 MoHa E258-500 MoHa E259-500 KuRo E259
Accommodation Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Green Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Green


Green (first class) cars have leather-covered forward-facing rotating/reclining seats arranged in 2+2 abreast configuration. Seat pitch is 1,160 mm (46 in).[5] Standard class cars have 2+2 abreast seating with forward-facing rotating/reclining seats and a seat pitch of is 1,020 mm (40 in).[5]


A Narita Express 253 series train in December 2006

Until 1991, rail service to Narita Airport was limited to the Keisei Skyliner, which at the time used a station separated from the terminal complex. JR had initially planned to run a high-speed line, the Narita Shinkansen, to a station underneath the main airport terminal. This plan was abandoned in the 1980s, and the space originally slated for the underground station and Shinkansen tracks was used to connect both the JR Narita Line and Keisei Main Line directly to the terminal. The Narita Express began service to the new station on 19 March 1991, and Skyliner switched its service to the new station at the same time.

Until March 2004, the Wing Express limited express service was introduced to complement the Narita Express with one return working a day between Ōmiya/Ikebukuro/Shinjuku and Narita Airport. This service was subsequently replaced by an additional Narita Express service.

From the start of the revised timetable on 10 December 2005, Narita Express services were made entirely no-smoking.[6]

On 1 October 2009, nine new E259 series EMU trains were brought into service on 10 of 26 return Narita Express services, replacing the 253 series.[7] By June 2010 all Narita Express trains were operated by E259 series equipment.[3]

From the start of the revised timetable on 13 March 2010, Narita Express service frequencies were increased with more splitting and combining of trains at Tokyo Station. Service is provided between Narita Airport and Tokyo, Shinjuku and Yokohama every 30 minutes during most of the day. All trains operating to/from Shinjuku now stop at Shibuya, and all trains to/from Yokohama now stop at the new Musashi-Kosugi Station.[8]

Narita Express services were suspended from 11 March 2011 due to the Great East Japan earthquake and subsequent power supply shortage in the Tokyo area.[9] They were partially restored from 4 April 2011.[10]

See also


  1. ^ JR新幹線&特急列車ファイル [JR Shinkansen & Limited Express Train File]. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 2008. p. 64.  
  2. ^ JR Timetable, October 2009
  3. ^ a b "JR東日本 E259系特急型直流電車" [JR East E259 series limited express DC EMU]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 38 (303): p70–71. July 2009. 
  4. ^ JR Timetable, March 2012 issue. P.1004
  5. ^ a b ""成田エクスプレス"用新形車両 E259系" [New E259 series "Narita Express" trains].  
  6. ^ "December 2005 Timetable Revision Details" (pdf) (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2009. 
  7. ^ "E259系「成田エクスプレス号」10月から10往復程度が運用開始 (10 E259 series "Narita Express" workings to commence from October)". Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō (Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun) 38 (305): p74. September 2009. 
  8. ^ 2010年3月ダイヤ改正について (PDF) (Press release) (in 日本語). East Japan Railway Company. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  9. ^ "Service Operation Status" (pdf) (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  10. ^ JRの運行状況 2日 [JR Operation Status - 2 April]. NHK News (in Japanese). Japan: Japan Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 

External links

  • About N'EX (JR East)
  • E259 series Narita Express (JR East) (Japanese)
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