Invisible trains are here, courtesy Japan of course

By : |April 14, 2016 0

Technology might not have been able to make man go invisible outside Hollywood or Bollywood (Hollow Man and Mr India) but man might just be ready to make few things around him go invisible very soon. An invisible train is set to hit Japanese tracks by 2018, in an effort to blend the carriages into the landscape.

Japanese trains are in their own right wonders of the world. Their speed, punctuality and cleanliness are matched by none across globe. And Japan is all set to up the ante with this new train which sports a semi-reflective surface giving it an illusion of invisibility when it is speeding across the countryside.

Kazuyo Sejima, the Japanese architect behind the design, was commissioned to design the train for the Seibu Group’s centennial. Sejima, a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize who is renowned for her modernist glass buildings, was asked to come up with a train design “like nothing seen before.”

CIOL Invisible Trains are here, Courtesy Japan of course

The train has been designed to be “soft” and “blend into the landscape.” Since commuters will be riding the train, sejima wanted to make it a relaxing, comfortable place like a living room, “so that they think to themselves ‘I look forward to riding that train again’.”

“I think the biggest difference with standard architecture is that the train is able to travel a variety of locations,” Sejima said when Seibu unveiled the plans. “The limited express travels in a variety of different sceneries, from the mountains of Chichibu, to the middle of Tokyo, and I thought it would be good if the train could gently coexist with this variety of scenery.”

The company hasn’t announced how much the new trains, to be manufactured by Hitachi, would cost, but according to some estimates the company will invest about $90 million in the new trains.

Seibu wants 56 cars, made of aluminum, for seven trains that will start operating in 2018.The Seibu Group operates 180 km of railway networks in the region around Tokyo. Its carriages normally feature boldly-coloured stripes that stand out from the surroundings. In the past its trains have been yellow, blue and grey.

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