Electric multiple unit

Electric multiple unit

An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of many carriages using electricity as the motive power.


The cars that form a complete EMU set can usually be separated by function into four types: power car, motor car, driving car, and trailer car. Each car can have more than one function, such as a motor-driving car or power-driving car.

* A power car carries the necessary equipment to draw power from the electrified infrastructure, such as shoes for third rail systems and pantograph for overhead lines systems, and transformers.
* Motor cars carry the traction motor to move the train.
* Driving cars are similar to a cab car, containing a driver's cab for controlling the train. An EMU consist usually of two driving cars, resulting in only one driver's cab at each end of the train.
* Trailer cars are any car that carry no traction or power related equipments, and are similar to passenger cars in a locomotive-hauled train.


Some of the more famous electric multiple units in the world are high speed trains: the Shinkansen in Japan and ICE 3 in Germany. Metro-North outside of New York is also famous for its M1 Cosmpolitans, M2 Metropolitans, and its newer M7s and M8s.

EMUs are also popular on commuter and suburban rail networks around the world due to their fast acceleration, pollution-free operation and quietness. Being quieter than DMU and locomotive-drawn trains, EMUs can operate later at night and more frequently without disturbing residents living near the railway lines. In addition, tunnel design for EMU trains is simpler as provisions do not need to be made for diesel exhaust fumes.


Belgian EMU AM80 "Break" unit.
British SWT Class 450 suburban unit at London Waterloo Station.
British Class 390 in Birmingham New Street, in Virgin Trains livery.
British Class 334 "Juniper" EMU at Gourock in Scotland.
Transperth B Series EMUs operate in Perth, Australia.
Class 323 EMU departs Longbridge in the United Kingdom.
New Delhi Metro EMU in India.

SEPTA EMUs near Paoli, PA, USA.
Russian EMU ED4MKM unit.
JR East Type E233-1000 EMU test run Omiya, Japan.
JR West Shinkansen Type 500 EMU.
Russian EMU ER2K604 unit.

See also

* Air brake
* Railway brakes
* Diesel multiple unit
* Diesel locomotive
* Multiple Units
* Railways

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