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Image: Osaka Metro

Osaka Metro unveils new 'spaceship' design trains

By SoraNews24

With everything going on these days, you’d be forgiven to not remember that Osaka is slated to host the World Expo in 2025. It promises to be quite the event, complete with virtual Pokemon tour guides, and now it appears we’ll be getting spaceship trains too.

Image: Osaka Metro

Dubbed the 400 Series, these train cars will have a completely overhauled face intentionally designed to look like a spaceship. Though they didn’t cite any specific sources of inspiration, it certainly seems to resemble the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon or a TIE Fighter.

The look isn’t the only futuristic thing about this rolling stock either. All vehicles will be equipped with Wi-Fi and the lead cars will have an outlet to charge devices with. Live security cameras will also be installed as a safety precaution, something people have been calling for for years.

Image: Osaka Metro

Also, the hanging paper ads that completely bathe the interior of some trains will become a thing of the past. Instead a series of dual LCD panels will be installed offering information and advertisements in up to four languages.

Image: Osaka Metro

Although not so indicative of the future, another revolution is the addition of forward and backward facing “cross seats.” Currently, standard Osaka Metro trains only use bench seating along the sides of the cars.

▼ We're pretty sure that the perspective of the image is slightly warped and passengers will not get their own loungers.

Image: Osaka Metro

There are certainly some big changes planned, so what to the people of Japan think about these new vehicles? Let’s find out with some online comments.

“It’s looks like a space suit helmet. Cool.”

“It has a Star Wars vibe.”

“It looks like a toy.”

“It’s cool they went with a futuristic design like that.”

“I can do without the cross seats though.”

“The front looks amazing!”

“It’s a bold design, but I like it.”

“I think it will look good in the subway, but probably strange on above-ground lines.”

It appears the response is overwhelmingly positive, with that “toy” comment hinging on that person’s own feelings about toys.

So, Osaka Metro can rest easy as they prepare to introduce these new cars to the subway system, starting with the Chuo Line that will service at the Expo 25 venue on the artificial island of Yumeshima. This will be the first car redesign in 12 years, replacing the current 30000 Series.

The first trains are expected to hit the rails in April, 2023. Osaka Metro President Hideaki Kawai said, “The new trains will be the face of Osaka. We hope to contribute to the success of the Expo as much as possible.”

Sources: Osaka Metro, Sankei News, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- The terrifying monster logo for the Osaka world’s fair is born, immediately gets fan art

-- Osaka World Expo “Fist” statue stirs controversy for being “incredibly gaudy”

-- Japanese Twitter users make Osaka Metro’s English translation mistakes into running joke, memes

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Space ship design? I think not.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

PLENTY of standing-room.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fugly as! Expo 25 will be free of international tourists if we keep knee jerking at every minor virus varient.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I don't like how they've shrunk the window length. The more I can see outside the better I like it. I'm not a fan of forward and especially backward facing seats either. Going backwards makes me fill nauseous. The design looks pretty cool though.

BTW, the Sora News writers should invest in an editor to check their writing. It's juvenile and full of errors.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

feel nauseous. Maybe I should take my own advice : D

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Speed: they're subway cars man. No need for big expansive windoze.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Pie in the sky

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Don't care anymore- ever since the pandemic we bought a second car and now I drive to work. Hopefully, I will NEVER use a train again as I find people here very rude on trains.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I hope the front window isn't glass. Imagine how it would be for the driver if two of those things collided!

1 ( +3 / -2 )


I'm not a fan of forward and especially backward facing seats either. Going backwards makes me fill nauseous. 

Most likely, you can switch the back of the seat so you can choose which direction you face. It’s the same with other trains in Osaka and the shinkansen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks pretty 1980s. The seat configuration is strange. One pic shows demarcations on bench seats for every two people. The other shows comfortable individual seats but with most space devoted to standing passengers. That'll create lots of jealousy!

Pic one seats should have demarcations per 1 passenger, and pic 2 seats should be doubles, so that lots of of people don't have to stand. These are common configurations outside Japan so I'm wondering what the designers in Osaka were thinking of.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Or maybe a giant worm?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Have they ever actually seen a spaceship? It looks like...a subway train with the corners flattened.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very nice looking!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

OK, next trip to Japan I HAVE to finally visit Osaka, lol

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Once they plaster it with ads everywhere, including the windows and doors, it'll look like your TV.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So instead of paper ads they'll have digital ads. Yippee. Well worth giving Osaka Expo.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Will it make the scenery outside any better?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Very cool.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Jefflee- understand how you feel but this is a typical design for commuter train in Japan. More people stand than sit for most of the time, especially during rush hours. We are used to that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do not see the "spaceship" design. Where is it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“Don't care anymore- ever since the pandemic we bought a second car and now I drive to work. Hopefully, I will NEVER use a train again as I find people here very rude on trains.”

_ Good for you. I also have found recently more drivers being rude on the roads.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ToraToday  07:26 am JST

Speed: they're subway cars man. No need for big expansive windoze.

Ha ha! You're right! I was thinking of the stretch between Umeda and Kita Senri where it goes above ground. Love warching the cars racing along the highway next to the train and the scenery.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Downright ugly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


All good man. Yeah, I know that stretch myself. Bigger windows would be nice come to think of it. The trains are not bad looking either.

@Alan Harrison

It's a matter of taste, really. Bet they look lovely once up and running. At least in Japan they spend money on the public transportation system to keep it nice and up-to-date, unlike several other countries I can think of.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It’s alright, anything to add interest to a flat plane has to be good. I think the forward/rear facing seats are a backward step though and reduce seating capacity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One wonders what kind of crashworthiness that design offers?

Trains in the US have rear facing seats and restaurant style booths and it has never bothered me in the least. I love riding trains. The USAF has these big pallets of passenger seats that can be rolled into their transport aircraft for carrying troops or passengers as necessary (and they have a "comfort pallet" with toilets and a kitchen that goes all the way forward for long transoceanic flights with troops or passengers). The seats always face to the rear. It is a safety feature, more protection in a crash. It's a little weird the first time but after a couple of such flights it feels normal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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