JAPAN: The first of three Model 2020 Automated Guideway Transit rubber-tyre light metro trainsets ordered from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is expected to enter service on Saitama New Urban Transit Co’s Ina Line from November 4. The six-car trainsets are expected to replace older stock on the 13 km Omiya – Uchijuku route in Greater Tokyo by the end of 2016.

The Model 2020 trainsets have a new external design which MHI says is intended to be ‘as futuristic as the Shinkansen bullet trains they run beside’.

The double-skin aluminium body and T-smover bogies saves almost 1 tonne per car compared to the older design. The cars have a hexagonal cross-section which bulges outward on both sides to maximise interior space and enable the backs of the longitudinal G-Fit seats to be slanted at a comfortable angle.