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Japan working to build “Invisible train”

by Todd Haselton | April 15, 2016April 15, 2016 6:30 am PST


Frank Lloyd Wright is a famous American architect who was best known for his attempts to construct buildings that seemed natural in the surrounding landscape. Engineers and designers haven’t been able to replicate Wright’s success in the field of transportation…until now.

A Japanese architect named Kazuyo Sejima is trying to create a new train for Seibu Railways that she hopes will blend in with the surrounding landscape. It reminds me a lot of a Frank Lloyd Wright project.

The design concept was announced recently and calls for a train that “easily blends into the scenery in both urban and natural environments.” The goal is to create a form of transportation that looks natural and as if it was always part of the surrounding landscape.

“The project concept was introduced to me as ‘a new limited express train like nothing seen before,'” Ms. Sejima said. “This is of course my first foray into designing a limited express train, however I think the biggest difference with standard architecture is that the train is able tot ravel a variety of locations. The limited express train travels in a variety of different sceneries, from the mountains of Chichibu, to the middle of Tokyo, and I thought it would be good if the train could gently coexist with this variety of scenery. ”

The above image is a concept of a new model for the express train. It suggests a new reflective exterior that allows it to nearly vanish from the world around it – gone are the lines and colors we’re used to on most train cars.

The train will be the first new production car in 25 years and is expected to debut in 2018.

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...