JR West releases design of new Yakumo train cars

Courtesy of West Japan Railway Co.
An illustrator’s rendering of the new model of Yakumo limited express train

The Sanin branch of West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) has released an image of a new model of its Yakumo limited express train cars. The Yakumo trains mainly connect Okayama and Yonago, Tottori Prefecture.

The coloring of the new train cars is based on the palette of the setting sun as seen over Lake Shinji in Shimane Prefecture, and that of red roof tiles, which are often seen in the Sanin region.

The company will gradually introduce 44 new train cars into service starting in spring 2024.

Under the completely new color scheme, the train cars will gleam in what the railway calls Yakumo Bronze, which is close in shade to orange. The design was supervised by Yasuyuki Kawanishi, a Tokyo-based designer.

Cloud shapes will be painted on the nose of the front cars to convey a feeling of high speeds.

“The design resonates with traditional culture and natural environments along the train line. I want people to love the design for many years to come,” Kawanishi said.

The new train cars will be the first in Japan to use a mechanism that gradually tilts them before a curve is entered so as to minimize vibration for passengers inside.

The number of passenger seats on a four-car train will be reduced by about 30 from some 200 in previous models.

As a result, the distance between seats will be four centimeters longer, allowing for increased passenger comfort. There will be a total of 12 seats per train where passengers travelling in groups can sit face-to-face.