East Japan Railway Co. is developing a new commuter train design that it wants to get rolling on Tokyo’s Yamanote Line by fall 2015. JR East President Tetsuro Tomita said at a news conference Wednesday the new train will be “a next-generation model for commuter trains.” “The E235 series will be a renewal of the current E231 series (introduced in 2002), and a single train with 11 cars is planned for completion next spring. After a test run, it will start operating on the Yamanote Line, and the series will gradually be introduced to other lines in the future,” Yasuo Hoshi, in charge of public relations at JR East, said Thursday.
One of the key elements of the new model is that each car will have as many as 36 monitors with 20-inch LCD screens in place of the current hanging ads. “Specific content to be screened, such as commercials, ads and news, is currently under review,” Hoshi said.
Additional priority seating for the elderly and the physically disabled, as well as a “free space” for baby strollers and wheelchairs, is planned for all cars. “We expect more foreign tourists to use the free space, too, where they can put down their luggage,” Hoshi said.
The seats will also be widened from 45 cm to 46 cm, and LED lighting will be used. The stainless steel body will remain almost the same, but the pea-green horizontal stripes that symbolize the Yamanote Line will be removed. In their place will be vertical stripes on the doors only.
To enhance safety, an improved monitoring system for tracking down malfunctions while the train is running will be added.
Originally published on www.japantimes.co.jp