lifestyle

Seats descend from ceiling on train to provide extra comfort for passengers

16 Comments
By Oona McGee, RocketNews24

Japanese trains are well-known around the world for being punctual, clean, and offering a polite and courteous service that’s second to none. This focus on providing a comfortable service for passengers has been in the spotlight again recently with a video posted online by Twitter user @kijitoti_NV, which shows a seat slowly descending from the ceiling, coming to rest in front of one of the train doors and slotting perfectly in place with other seats on the side of the carriage.

The unique seating can be found on the 5000 series trains run by rail operator Keihan Railways, which services the Osaka, Kyoto, and Shiga regions. During off-peak periods, some of the train doors can be deactivated, which means these seats can then descend from the ceiling to provide extra seating for passengers.

Despite having been around for some time, Japanese Twitter users were still surprised by the unique technology revealed in the video, leaving comments like:

“This is amazing! I had no idea this type of thing existed until now.” “I absolutely love this!” “I catch this train during peak hours and never once noticed the overhead seating storage before!” “This is fantastic technology!” “It’s like something you’d see on the ‘Thunderbirds’ sci-fi television series!”

This 5000 series train has actually been in operation since 1971, and is the only one in all of Japan to be equipped with the special overhead seating storage. To celebrate the train’s 45 years of service on the the Keihan-Otosen Nakanoshima line, the railway company held an event at Nakanoshima Station on Aug 28 to show off the unique seating mechanism to interested members of the public, who were able to film the “seat lifting demonstration” at a variety of times with ticketed entry.

The seats are said to remain down at all times except during peak rush hour periods, when they’re raised to accommodate a greater number of passengers, so it’s a rare event to see the fancy mechanism in action. Even though we might not be able to see it in person, we’ll definitely be adding the clever device to our long list of reasons we love the railways in Japan.

Source: Iroiro

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16 Comments
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So what happens if you're sitting on them and you fall asleep, you get crushed up into the ceiling when the train stops?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What we really need are things like double-decker trains (and buses),

Tunnels and bridges.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

here in Kyoto/Osaka they have trains with seats available just next to the doors that you can use when the rush hour is over, in my opinion way easier to use than those overhead seats.

http://osakacityview.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-209.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't mind standing on trains. Apparently, you burn 100-200 calories more per hour standing on a swaying moving train, as opposed to sitting. I spend enough time sitting every day as it is, free "exercise" while commuting is a silver lining.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's just a sop for commuters. What we really need are things like double-decker trains (and buses), but for whatever reason these things haven't taken off in Japan, despite the population density in urban centres.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would assume it is similar to current rush-hour carriages where the seats are folded up ergo standing room only and an extra door for fast exit/entry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tunnels and bridges.

Given the vast sums allocated to construction and infrastructure in Japan (not even including the white elephant maglev shinkansen), this should be no problem whatsoever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember trains on the Yamanote Line that had all-standing cars with flip-up seats during rush hour. What happened to them? So much space is wasted by seats. I prefer to stand as I'm sitting for more than 12 hours a day. Other people think a train is a place to sleep. I prefer to sleep in a bed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forest for the trees. The trains would be more comfortable if the seats were forward or backward facing in pairs, instead of the bench configuration, or if there were arm rests or other dividers to create personal space, as found it most other countries.

I can't stand being constantly squeezed against strangers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb21dkLav0M

Do they move the seats only when the train is empty? The Youtube example is on an empty train. I suspect this is the case. I imagine it would be too dangerous with passengers in the train.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"...polite and courteous…" non-stop announcements … informing us to within an inch of our lives as to all those essential facts without which none of us would ever manage the extremely taxing task of riding a train…

more seating, fewer points of exit/entry...

...and since they DON'T operate during rush-hours, the point is……?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And in the event of an accident, will they ride up automatically, or will they just sit there and block the doors, preventing people exiting the carriage?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

don't mind standing on trains. Apparently, you burn 100-200 calories more per hour standing on a swaying moving train, as opposed to sitting

So standing on a train for an hour is the equivalent of cycling or jogging at 70℅ of your max heart rate for 20 mins? If that were true, standing in trains would be the most popular cardio exercise ever.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't doubt it's (slightly) healthier to stand rather than sit, but I fail to see how my logic doesn't make sense. Standing relatively still on a train simply won't burn 200 calories. Look up standing versus sitting studies. Standing with periodic movement might burn you an extra 50 cals in an hour. 20 mins of cardio at 70% of your ( well, mine at least ) heart rate absolutely will burn 200 calories ( or very close to it ). If I see a seat available on my commute, I'm gonna take it without much worry for my health.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Another annoying seat for some slown to sit down in and within 10 seconds is bobbing his greasy hair into you clean clothes while faking he is tired and supposedly sleeping. Get rid of all seats on trains.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Leigh

So standing on a train for an hour is the equivalent of cycling or jogging at 70℅ of your max heart rate for 20 min? If that were true, standing in trains would be the most popular cardio exercise ever.

You obviously haven't read this carefully. Your logic doesn't make sense. They didn't say standing is equivalent to jogging or cycling. They said it was healthier than sitting which has been proven to be true.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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