Call me “Urara”! New JR trains in Okayama – 1200 suggestions for the nickname contest

JR West has decided on a nickname for the new suburban trains “227 series” to be introduced in the Okayama & Bingo area from 2023 that was solicited from the general public.

JR West 227 series EMU scheduled to be introduced in the Okayama/Bingo area from 2023 (Image by JR West)
JR West 227 series EMU scheduled to be introduced in the Okayama/Bingo area from 2023 (Image by JR West)

“Land of Sunshine” Okayama

The brandnew train series has a design concept called “Ho-on no irodori” in Japanese meaning “rich and calm colors.” In order for the trains to be loved for a long time, a public competition was held for a nickname that imaged the richness and calmness of the Okayama & Bingo area.

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They said that there were about 1,200 applications through Twitter during the period of about one month. Among these, “Urara” was selected as a nickname that fits the concept and is easy to call with familiarity. In addition, the decision is not based on the number of applications, but a method of selecting the appropriate nickname from all the nicknames received.

Japanese word “Urara” or “Uraraka” has the meaning of “the sky is clear and the sun is shining softly” (Digital Daijisen/Shogakukan). It is a nickname that clearly expresses the climate of this area, which is called “Hare no kuni Okayama” (Land of Sunshine) due to its low rainfall, and the image of the new trains with soft coloring (See the chart below for details such as the “Urara” logo mark and the overview and characteristics of the 227 series in the Okayama & Bingo area.).

A nickname for the new JR West trains in the Okayama area

Three swaying lines covering the logo

Along with the decision of the nickname, a logo mark expressed in white on the symbol color “Ho-on Pink” was also established. The nickname “Urara”, written in familiar characters, is overlaid with three soft lines, which is a motif of the flickering sunlight. The logo will be posted on the front and sides of the train body, and on the fall prevention hood between the leading cars.

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The 227 series is already in operation in the Hiroshima and Wakayama areas, and is scheduled to be introduced sequentially from 2023 mainly on the San-yo Line in the Okayama & Bingo area. In addition to the “EB-N device” that automatically stops the train when the driver encounters an abnormal situation, the shock absorption structure and the door pinch detection device are introduced for the first time in the Okayama area, so safety will be improved greatly from existing trains.

Adopting LEDs for interior lighting, the temperature control and ventilation functions of the air conditioning will be automated. Spaces for wheelchairs and strollers, and barrier-free toilets are also available, making it a comfortable trains for all users.