Hankyu’s new model trains preserve tradition – Seat reservation will start on Kyoto Line

Exterior image of the Hankyu 2300 series train, which is scheduled to be introduced in the summer of 2024 as a new limited express train on the Kyoto Line (Image by Hankyu Corporation)
Exterior image of the Hankyu 2300 series train, which is scheduled to be introduced in the summer of 2024 as a new limited express train on the Kyoto Line (Image by Hankyu Corporation)

Inheriting “maroon car body” & “olive-colored seats”

The universal style of Hankyu Railway with the maroon car body, wood-grain decorative panels, and golden-olive-colored seats won the Good Design Long Life Design Award in 2022. It has been recognized as an entity that shapes the image of areas along the railway line throughout the ages.

The development concept of the 2300 series and 2000 series is “a new Hankyu style that is safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly,” which are the first model-changed vehicles in 11 years since 2013. While inheriting the image of the traditional Hankyu Railway, barrier-free facilities, safety, and energy-saving performance will be refined to a level that is in line with the times.

Both the 2300 series with semi-cross seats specifications and the 2000 series with long seats have a new design on the front of the vehicle body, and the introduction of curved lines in the window glass creates a “speed feeling” that is at the forefront of the times. The interior maintains a calm atmosphere, and also has an open feel by changing the sleeve partitions at the ends of the long seats to a translucent material.

Following the current latest 1300 and 1000 series EMU, the aluminum double skin structure is adopted which is a feature of Hitachi’s A-train vehicle manufacturing system. The VVVF inverter control device uses the latest high-efficiency semiconductor elements and is said to reduce power consumption by approximately 60% compared to existing cars. Additionally, the LED destination display on the side of trains turns off while running, further reducing power consumption.

(See the chart below for details such as interior image, improvements around the wheelchair space and main specifications of Hankyu’s new 2300 & 2000 series EMU.)

[Chart] Interior image, improvements around the wheelchair space and main specifications of Hankyu's new 2300 & 2000 series EMU

The fourth car from Osaka has 40 reservation seats

If you take a closer look inside the train, you will see that barrier-free facilities have been expanded, especially the wheelchair spaces. In order to make it easier for people using wheelchairs and strollers, as well as those carrying large luggage such as suitcases, the seats next to the wheelchair spaces will be removed from both front cars, greatly expanding the space.

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Wheelchair fixings are installed newly in all wheelchair spaces, and handrails on the walls are changed to two levels to improve safety and convenience. The emergency call device, which was previously located at the end of cars, will be moved to the side of the boarding doors, where it is easier to use in the event of an emergency. The height of the hanging handles near the wheelchair spaces and priority seats is set low, and the hanging straps have a color scheme that takes into account the diversity of color vision, making it easier to recognize the space from a distance.

The long seats (priority seats for the 2300 series) are equipped with grip bars in the middle as well as at the ends of the seat, improving support and safety when getting up from the seat or standing. For the first time in Hankyu, the air conditioner will be an inverter type that operates quietly. This is also the first time they are installing air purifiers that removes pollen, bacteria, and viruses. To prevent nuisances and crime, security cameras will be installed to prepare for the unexpected.

Hankyu also announced that they will introduce their first seat reservation service on the fourth car from the Osaka side of the Kyoto Line trains operated by the 2300 series. Detailed service details such as eligible trains and prices will be announced at a later date. Normal intermediate cars have a capacity of 124 people including standing passengers, but when seat reservation service is provided, the capacity is 40 people, so there is no doubt that it will be a comfortable car.