JR Hokkaido reveals design of new bullet train series

April 17, 2014

By RYOSUKE ISHIBASHI/ Staff Writer

Winter scenery and other images from Japan’s northernmost main island will decorate the new bullet trains for use on the planned Hokkaido Shinkansen Line.

Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido), which revealed the train’s design on April 16, plans to open the new line in March 2016, linking Hokkaido and Tokyo.

The basic colors and shapes of the H5 series trains are the same as those of the Tohoku Shinkansen Line’s E5 series trains, operated by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East). The new trains will use the lines in Honshu served by JR East.

“Our bullet train service is aimed at connecting Shin-Hakodate (provisional name) and Tokyo in four hours and 10 minutes,” said Osamu Shimada, who became president of JR Hokkaido this month. “The bullet train’s travel time could be as short as that by an airplane, depending on the station where the passenger boards the train.”

The H5 series for the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line will have a purple line on the cars’ bodies to symbolize the many lavender farms in Hokkaido.

The interior design of the 10-car train evokes images of snow and drift ice, common features on the northern island.

The bullet train has a Gran Class car with its own cabin crew to cater to passengers’ needs. JR Hokkaido said this car is superior to its first-class Green cars.

JR Hokkaido said two sets of H5 series train will be delivered during the current fiscal year. The company will conduct a trial run of the service next winter.

By RYOSUKE ISHIBASHI/ Staff Writer
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A miniature model of Hokkaido Railway Co.’s H5 series bullet train for the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line (The Asahi Shimbun)

A miniature model of Hokkaido Railway Co.’s H5 series bullet train for the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line (The Asahi Shimbun)

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  • A miniature model of Hokkaido Railway Co.’s H5 series bullet train for the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line (The Asahi Shimbun)
  • The purple line on this miniature model of Hokkaido Railway Co.’s H5 series bullet train symbolizes the many lavender farms in Hokkaido. (The Asahi Shimbun)
  • The interior of the bullet train’s standard car reflects images of snow and the night view of Hakodate in Hokkaido. (Provided by Hokkaido Railway Co.)
  • The carpet in the bullet train’s Gran Class is based on scenery of the ocean and lakes in Hokkaido. (Provided by Hokkaido Railway Co.)
  • The carpet in the bullet train’s Green car depicts the ocean with fragments of drift ice. (Provided by Hokkaido Railway Co.)

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