To replace the 200 and E1 series trains, JR East had Kawasaki and Hitachi develop the series E5. It came directly from the test train of the 954 series, which was also called “FASTECH 360” and was supposed to reach a speed of 360 km/h in regular operation. For testing purposes, this had a streamlined nose at one end and an arrow-shaped nose at the other, which was 15 meters long.
The production trains consist of ten cars and have the arrow-shaped nose, but shortened here to 14 meters. This reduces wind noise at high speeds and the tunnel bang. Only the control cars are not driven, all middle cars have four powered axles. Regular operation began in 2011 with a limit of 300 km/h.
On the Akita Shinkansen, the trains were used in double with the E3 series and were limited to 275 km/h. Since the E6 replaced the E3 there, this problem no longer exists. From 2013, the E5 was generally approved for 320 km/h. For use on Hokkaido, four sets were created that are specially adapted for the cold climate and are designated H5. They also have tilting technology that allows an inclination of up to five degrees. Theoretically, curves with a radius of 4,000 meters can be negotiated at 320 km/h, although the line has a speed limit of 260 km/h.
An export order was found from India for the 508 km high-speed route Mumbai-Ahmedabad. There, 24 sets are to be used that are specially adapted to the hot climate. The first test runs are planned for 2026 and the entire route should be open in 2028.