New railcars for Tokyo’s Yamanote Line will offer more space for baby strollers and wheelchairs in the autumn of 2015


Rail Update Japan

Image of the new type of commuter train. Photo: JR EAST

On July 2 East Japan Railway Company announced it was preparing to introduce a new type of commuter train for the Yamanote loop line in Tokyo. The 11-car trainset will have 28 more priority seats, in response to the fact that Japan’s population is aging. All cars will have space freed up for baby strollers and wheelchair users. The new cars will eliminate the practice of suspending paper advertisements from above, to save labor and because ads will appear in video form — each car will have more than 20 LCD screens.

In the fall of 2015, the company will begin revenue services on one newly manufactured train. More trains will be built later, after taking note of passenger input.

Seat width will be 460mm per person, 10mm more than now. The train will have 36 fewer seats. Railcar frame corners will be strengthened for added collision reinforcement. Plans call for a new detection system to function while the train is running, to deal quickly with signs of a malfunction in the track or overhead

This article appeared in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper on July 2, 2014. We thank the publisher, Asahi Shimbun-sha, for granting us permission to present the article in translation.


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