Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has delivered the first of the three six-car automated guideway transit (AGT) trains to Saitama New Urban Transit.
The trains are scheduled to enter commercial service on the Ina Line tomorrow.
The new 2020 series rubber-tyred metro trains will replace older stock on the 13km Ina Line that connects Omiya and Uchijuku by the end of next year, by when the two remaining trains will be also be delivered.
The trains have a new external design, which the company says is intended to be as futuristic as the Shinkansen bullet trains.
Compared with their predecessors, the 2020 series vehicles are almost a tonne lighter as they feature double-skin aluminium bodyshells and the company’s T-smover lightweight bogies.
The hexagonal cross-section bulges outward on both sides to maximise interior space and allow the backs of the G-Fit seats to be slanted at an angle.
Saitama New Urban Transit is a semi-public sector company established in December 1983 by Saitama Prefecture and the East Japan Railway Company (JR-East).
AGT systems were first introduced in Japan in 1981, and are now used by a growing number of municipalities throughout the country.
Compared with other trains, AGT trains have a relatively small minimum turning radius of 30m, which allows them to turn more easily for efficient utilisation of road space, feature noise and vibration-reducing rubber tyres.
MHI will display one of the 2020 series sets at the Mass Transit Innovation Japan 2015 exhibition in Chiba, which will be held between 11 and 13 November.
Image: Saitama New Urban Transit ‘New Shuttle’ car. Photo: courtesy of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.