JR Kyushu have announced details on the introduction of a new six-car high speed train called the “Kamome” which will run on the Kyushu Shinkansen’s new western route. This new branch of the Kyushu Shinkansen will run between Takeo Onsen and Nagasaki and is due for completion in 2022.
“Kamome” which means “seagull” in Japanese is currently the name of a limited express train that runs between Hakata and Nagasaki, and which has been serving the city of Nagasaki since 1961. The name has a long pedigree though, having first been used in 1937 for a limited express train that ran between Tokyo and Kyoto. In addition to the name, the new shinkansen train will also be inheriting the current Limited Express Kamome’s logo. With its introduction onto the west Kyushu shinkansen route the Kamome enters a new era as a high-speed bullet train.
The new Kamome will be a next generation N700S series with just six cars. This is a variant of the 16-car train sets that JR Central first introduced to the Tokaido Shinkansen in July of this year. The Kamome’s nose has a “dual supreme wing” design that improves aerodynamic flow and the train also employs silicon carbide superconductors in the driving system to reduce energy consumption. The new train has improved safety features such as ATC (automatic train control) and a braking system that will shorten the braking distance in emergencies such as earthquakes. The train will also be equipped with an emergency battery-powered propulsion system so that it can continue to run on its own if there is a power-outage. Security cameras will be fitted in the train cars to ensure passenger safety.
The Kamome’s exterior will be painted a striking red and white with gold highlights. Inside the train will have a 2+2 pattern of seating in reserved seating cars and a 2+3 pattern in non-reserved cars. Both the exterior and interior decor of the train have been designed by the award winning industrial designer Eiji Mitooka who in recent years has also designed JR Kyushu’s Sweet Train and the Kawasemi Yamasemi sightseeing train.
The debut of the Kamome Shinkansen together with the opening of the western Kyushu Shinkansen route are scheduled for the autumn of 2022.
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of JR Kyushu. All rights reserved.