Kintetsu Railway have announced plans to introduce a new general use commuter train in the autumn of 2024. Kintetsu is a major railway company in central and western Japan linking destinations in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Nagoya, and Ise. However, there are currently around 450 commuter trains on Kintetsu lines that have been in use since the 1970s. The new trains are being introduced to replace these older models with an initial ten train sets of four cars each to be introduced next year. These will be the first general use trains to be introduced by Kintetsu in 21 years.
The new trains will have a vivid red exterior, wood-grained interior walls, and floral-patterned seating. The general design of the new trains is intended to improve accessibility while being both environmentally friendly and comfortable for travellers. To that end the trains will have new improved security features, barrier-free access, and energy-saving measures.
The train seats can be converted from a cross seat arrangement to a long seat arrangement to create more space during busy periods. In addition, in each car there are two seating spaces next to the doors that can either be used by passengers with baby strollers or by passengers who have large luggage. Apparently, these are the first such seating spaces to be introduced in Japan. In addition LCD displays on the doors will display information in multiple languages, and the floor of the car is lowered to make the train more accessible for wheelchair users. There will also be security cameras installed throughout the train so that train crew members and the driver can check the situation inside each car.
The use of a new VVVF (variable voltage variable frequency) inverter control device in these trains will reduce power consumption by approximately 45% compared to conventional vehicles. And the adoption of LED lighting for the interior lighting and headlights, will also promote energy saving.
Kintetsu’s new commuter train will be introduced on the Nara Line, Kyoto Line, Kashihara Line, and Tenri Line in the autumn of 2024 and expanded to other lines at a later date.
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of Kintetsu Railway. All rights reserved.