Japan's New Train Will Be "Invisible"
Japan is famous for its state-of-the-art high-speed railway system. In 2015, its Magnetic Levitation or Maglev train, which gets its name because it hovers 10 cm above the tracks, set a new speed world record of 375 mph (603km/hr). Now the innovative island nation wants to build a train that features a mirror-like exterior and blends in so well with the environment, that it will be practically "invisible."
The train, which is expected to be ready by 2018, is being built by Seibu Railway to commemorate the company's 100th anniversary. It is the brainchild of famous Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima. The winner of the prestigious 2010 Pritzker Architecture Award, says she is excited at the prospect of creating something that will move through different environments, as opposed to designing a stationary building.
The idea of developing something that will reflect the surrounding scenery is particularly exciting given that the train's 111-mile route through Japan goes through a varied landscape ranging from the mountains of Chichibu to the tall skyscrapers of Tokyo.
While the exterior of the train is slick and ultramodern, don't expect the interior to be as stark. The architect wants it to be a place "where large numbers of people can all relax in comfort, in their own way, like a living room, so that they think to themselves 'I look forward to riding that train again.'" We have a feeling that attracting passengers to ride aboard this radical "invisible" train will not be an issue!
Resources:fastcodesign.com, architectural digest.com, the guardian.com
Reading Comprehension (3 questions)
- What is Japan well-known for?
- How does the Magnetic Levitation train get its name?
Critical Thinking Challenge
Do you think high-speed railways could replace domestic air travel in...
Vocabulary in Context
“In 2015, its Magnetic Levitation or Maglev train, which gets its name because it hovers 10 cm above the tracks, set a new speed world record of 375 mph (603km/hr).”