An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages. Most EMUs are used for passenger trains, but some have been built or converted for specialised non-passenger roles, such as carrying mail or luggage, or in departmental use, for example as de-icing trains. An EMU is usually formed of two or more semi-permanently coupled carriages, but electrically powered single-unit railcars are also generally classed as EMUs.
EMUs are popular on commuter and suburban rail networks around the world due to their fast acceleration and pollution-free operation. Being quieter than DMUs 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, although retrofitting existing tunnels to accommodate the extra equipment needed to transmit the power to the train can be expensive and difficult if the tunnel has limited clearance.