TOKYO suburban operator Keihin Express Electric Railway is testing electronic lockers at its stations. The lockers provide a range of services, including photo developing, laundry, and the sending or receiving of parcels. Credit card and locker content data is transmitted along the railway’s optic fibre network, completed in March.

Customers must first register to use the lockers. They then select a service from a control locker, and place the item, along with an order form, in the locker. This is then collected by staff, and delivered or returned to the locker room as appropriate after processing. Users return to the station, pay by credit card and are told which locker their item is in for collection.

The initial trials were at Misakiguchi, and later at Shinagawa, Keikyu Kawasaki and Amonono Yokocho. By November, a hundred different items or services were on offer through the lockers, and the railway plans to install the service at all of its stations from April. The service is available during the times when trains are running.