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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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