Press Information

"2020 Series" Railway Carriages Win "Good Design Award 2016"
-- Provide Innovative Engineering and Design for the "New Shuttle" Automated Guideway Transit System in Saitama --


Tokyo, September 29, 2016 - The new "2020 Series" carriages developed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) for use on an automated guideway transit (AGT)1 system operated by Saitama New Urban Transit Co., Ltd. have won a "Good Design Award 2016". This annual award program is conducted by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP).

The "2020 Series" railway cars were developed by MHI to replace the "1010 Series" carriages that have been in use on the "New Shuttle" transportation system in Saitama Prefecture since it was inaugurated in December 1983. The line today comprises 13 stations2 spanning a distance of approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles).

The new carriages have vivid color accents in one of three hues: green crystal, bright amber or pure ruby. Ultimately the range of colors is to be expanded to seven, to form a brilliant rainbow which will complement a newly introduced logomark.

In terms of engineering, the "2020 Series" cars adopt MHI's proprietary all-aluminum-alloy, double-skin structure known as "Al-Fine," an innovative structure that enables significant reductions in carriage weight and traveling energy. Riding comfort meanwhile has been enhanced with the adoption of MHI's new "T-smover" bogies3 and "G-Fit" seats. In these and other ways, the "2020 Series" carriages are engineered to serve as a shining symbol of the AGT era.

With respect to design, the "2020 Series" carriages feature a hexagonal transverse cross-section design that bulges slightly outward on both sides. The new design maximizes space inside the car and allows the backs of the seats on either side to be slanted at a comfortable angle. The eye-catching outer design also brilliantly complements the Shinkansen bullet trains that run on parallel tracks.

"New Shuttle" car with "green crystal" accents

The "G-Fit" seats have been designed to provide outstanding body support while naturally inducing seated passengers to keep their legs tucked close in and prevent them from extending into the aisle space, thereby enhancing the riding experience of commuters using this line. Seat layout has also been enhanced to accommodate three additional passengers per carriage even as sitting space has been increased by more than 10%.

A "live cockpit" design at the front of the train adopts a see-through partition that affords passengers a sweeping forward view. They can also enjoy watching the train's operations and instrumentation as they simultaneously take in the scenery along the route.

Interior of the "2020 Series" carriage

The rainbow of seven colors planned for the New Shuttle

The color concept of the "2020 Series" is "Seven Dream," with the color variations representing seven jewels that shine a radiant future on the lives of the people living along the "New Shuttle" line.

In bestowing the "Good Design Award 2016" on the "2020 Series" carriages, the judging panel cited the cars' advances in safety and comfort and the hexagonal transverse cross-section design enabling more efficient use of interior space while also achieving a striking exterior design. They also applauded the appeal of the carriages' fully integrated design and noted how the simple but readily recognizable graphic features of the exterior have visual impact on a par with that of the Shinkansen trains running parallel to the line.

A "pure ruby" train running alongside the Shinkansen

The Good Design Awards are Japan's only comprehensive design evaluation and commendation program. The system has roots tracing back to the "Good Design Products Selection System" launched in 1957, and in its near 60 years in operation some 43,000 awards have been granted in recognition of designs that make positive contributions to the enhancement of Japanese industry or everyday living. Today the Good Design Awards program enjoys global scale with participation of numerous businesses, organizations, etc. from all around the world. The "G Mark," the symbol only award winners can display, is a widely familiar logo indicative of outstanding design.

1 AGT is the name given by MHI to its proprietary and innovative automated people mover (APM) transport systems.
2 From Omiya Station in Saitama City to Uchijuku Station in Ina Town. At the time the line was inaugurated, there were 12 stations; it was later extended from Hanuki to Uchijuku.
3 The new bogies were newly developed to provide outstanding riding comfort combined with advances in lightweight construction, durability, low noise and vibration, and easy maintenance.

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on