JAPAN’s Tobu Railway, an inter-city and regional operator in the Kantō region, has introduced the first two of four new six-car series N100 Spacia X EMUs on Limited Express services operating on the Tobu Nikko Line from Asakusa station in Tokyo to Nikko and Kinugawa-onsen in Tochigi Prefecture.

Built by Hitachi Rail, the new trains will reduce CO2 emissions by 40% compared with the existing Spacia fleet. The trains are effectively carbon net zero, with virtually all traction current sourced from renewables.

Each train has 212 seats with six interior formats available for passengers to choose from, which offer a higher level of comfort compared with existing Spacia services:

Cockpit suite: located in car 6, this luxurious area is designed to resemble the interior of a private jet. It can accommodate up to seven people.

Cockpit lounge: located in car 1, the concept is modelled on the famous Nikko Kanaya Hotel, the oldest western-style resort hotel in Japan. Passengers can choose from sofa-style seating for one or two passengers. The lounge also has a café, with priority access offered to car 1 passengers.

Premium 2+1 seating is available in car 2 while standard 2+2 seating is available in cars 3, 4 and 5. Premium seats feature adjustable headrests and electric-powered reclining. Standard seats all have power outlets and folding tables. Car 5 also features some box seating consisting of a pair of facing seats partitioned off from other passengers. There are also several private compartments in car 6, which feature spacious u-shaped sofa seating and folding tables.

Spacia X seating concepts (clockwise): The Cockpit suite; Cockpit lounge; Premium seating; and Private compartment.

The train’s exterior and interior design reflects Japanese culture. The hexagonal windows in cars 1 and 6 reflect fretwork and bamboo wickerwork patterns from Edo culture. The train’s exterior colours evoke a noble white reminiscent of the Gofun pigment used on the Yomeimon Gate, Karamon Gate and main sanctuary of Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Tochigi Prefecture.

Passengers will have the option to purchase craft beer and coffee developed with companies in Nikko.

Tobu Railway has also upgraded Asakusa and Nikko stations in preparation for the entry into service of the new fleet, the third and fourth trains of which are due to be introduced imminently. Tobu Railway plans to operate four return Spacia X services on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays, and two services on other days.

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