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Tobu Railway's SPACIA X Limited Express Unveiled

posted on 17th Apr 2023 18:00

Tobu Railway, the Tokyo-based private railway company, has unveiled a new Limited Express EMU for services to Nikkō. Tobu Railway has a 463.3 km network of lines north of Tokyo, mainly used for daily commuting. Many lines have through services to the Tokyo Metro. Tobu Railway also has various services to the World Heritage Site of Nikkō. The flagship service is now provided by class 100 Spacia EMUs built between 1989 - 1991.

Tobu has now introduced the new SPACIA X class N100 EMUs for this service to provide a deluxe service on a popular route not only for local tourism. The trains run between Asakusa in Tokyo and Nikkō stations and also serve a branch of the Nikkō line to Kinugawa-Onsen, the hot spring resort not far from Nikkō. The EMU consists of four powered intermediate cars and two non-powered end-cars. Each of the intermediate cars has a distinctive interior, the seating is in 2+2 configuration with adjustable seats, mostly open space, but in coach No 5 there are also compartments called "box seats".

The end-cars of the train offer a unique travel experience. The end-car heading to Nikkō has a "Cockpit Lounge" with an additional seat charge of 200 JPY (1.3 EUR), the end car at the Tokyo end offers the luxurious "Cockpit Suite", a private room for seven people for an additional charge of 12,180 JPY (per room, about 83 EUR) with reminiscences of the interior of a private jet. The basic limited express fare between Tokyo Asakusa and Nikko is 1,940 JPY (approx. 13 EUR). The end-cars also have distinctive side windows. The "X" design gives them a hexagonal shape. Capacity is 212 passengers. The personal storage lockers can be locked using the passengers' smartphones. The Spacia X will be introduced into commercial service on 15 July 2023.

The bodyshells of the 1,067 mm gauge 1,500 V DC EMU are made of extruded aluminium and also have roof windows for natural lighting. The end-cars are 21,580 mm long, the intermediate cars are 20,000 mm long, the bodyshells are 2,836 mm wide and 4,045 mm high. The traction power is 8,165 kW and the VVVF inverters are of the IGBT type.

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