Due for completion next autumn, the new bullet train set to launch on the Nishi-Kyushu route of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line has announced new features. The route, also known as the Nagasaki Shinkansen line, will open between Nagasaki Station and Takeo-Onsen Station in Saga Prefecture.
The train’s exterior features its name Kamome (seagull) written in hiragana with bold brushstrokes by the company president, Toshihiko Aoyagi, and a red stripe in the corporate colour JR Kyushu. This comes in the wake of the wild popularity of the 2020 lockdown video game franchise, Ghost of Tsushima, set on the stunning archipelagos surrounding the city of Nagasaki.
The overall design is the work of Eiji Mitooka, who also was responsible for the look of the Nanatsuboshi (Seven Stars) luxury sleeper train. The train is based on the N700S series Shinkansen introduced in 2020 and symbolises a seagull in flight. Reserved seats are arranged in two rows, with two seats on each side of the aisle. The seats in cars No. 1 through No. 3 feature designs themed on chrysanthemum, lion and arabesque. Mitooka’s previous work includes the Sonic express and sightseeing trains.
The Nishi-Kyushu route will eventually connect Nagasaki Station and Shin-Tosu Station in Saga Prefecture on the Kyushu Shinkansen Line. However, construction of the section connecting Shin-Tosu and Takeo-Onsen stations has yet to start due to stalled negotiations over construction specifications between the central and prefectural governments. Once the Nishi-Kyushu route becomes partially operational, the railway company plans to provide a relay service for passengers to transfer at Takeo-Onsen Station.