Osaka Metro has plans to introduce two striking new trains on the Chuo Line that runs east-to-west through Osaka City. The 400 series is an all-new train with a remarkably futuristic appearance that will replace the aging 20 series that currently runs on the Chuo Line and the 24 series that will be diverted to other lines.
The 30000A series is a new-and-improved version of the 30000 series of trains that was first introduced in 2011. As the Chuo Line will link central Osaka with the venue for the 2025 World Expo, the new trains are being introduced to increase this line’s passenger capacity in time for that event.
The new Osaka Metro 400 series is a six-car train that has been deliberately designed to resemble a spacecraft with a large octagonal window completely covering the front of the train.
The color of the train exterior is silver with broad bands of green highlighting the entrances.
The train interior features lower floors for easy access by wheelchair users, LED lighting, security cameras for passenger safety, Wi-Fi in all cars, air purification devices as a coronavirus countermeasure, and wide LCD displays over each exit which will show information in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.
To make the train feel more spacious and relaxing hanging advertisements will not be displayed on the train and the first car on the train will have power outlets so that passengers can recharge their devices. For passenger comfort seat backs are taller, and priority seats are color-coded to make them easier to identify. Luggage racks have also been lowered to make them easier to reach. In addition, new technology has been installed so that the train can be monitored and operated remotely, and autonomous operation trials of the train are scheduled for 2024.
The new 30000A series has the same body shape as the current 30000 series, but the exterior has been painted with a novel color scheme that is meant to symbolize Osaka’s lively character.
The mainly silver exterior is highlighted with a gold stripe, which represents the future, and there are effervescent dots of differing sizes, which are colored green for Osaka Metro, grey for the city, and white for the city’s people. The interior has also been improved with many of the features seen in the 400 series: lowered floors, LED lighting, security cameras, LCD displays with information in four languages, Wi-Fi in all cars, and air purification devices. The colorful seats in yellow and green and the repeated pattern of effervescent dots are meant to create a refreshing atmosphere. Moreover, additional space has been created by the entrances for the benefit of passengers with luggage or pushchairs.
The 30000A series is scheduled to begin operations in July of this year, while the 400 series will be launched in April 2023. In 2024 the Chuo Line will also be extended to a new station at the venue of the World Expo on the man-made island of Yumeshima.
Article by Michael Lambe. Images courtesy of Osaka Metro. All rights reserved.