Watch out, Japan will soon bring forth an invisible train!
If there is one country whose lofty ambitions in terms of technology seem to know no bounds, it has to be Japan. As if the magnetic levitating train is not enough, it now wishes to construct one that will mostly be invisible.
The project is being handled by Seibu Railway Co.
The train will obviously not be impeccably invisible since no such thing is achievable by man as scientists have recently pointed out the impossibility of the Harry-Potter-style invisibility cloak.
Rather, it will be highly reflective such that it will be almost invisible: it will basically be equipped with ‘mirrors’ all over its surface to reflect its surroundings so that it blends with the latter, thereby giving the illusion of invisibility.
The mastermind behind the idea is architect Kazuyo Sejima who won the Pritzker Prize (commonly referred as the Nobel Prize of Architecture) some years ago.
Excitingly, we won’t necessarily have to wait years before the endeavour is implemented as the design can be used on existing trains. With the permission of Seibu Railway Co., Sejima can now redesign its Red Arrow express commuter train for the purpose.
The ‘invisible train’ is scheduled to be operational in 2018. Not much information has been revealed to the public though.
Sejima is famous for her affinity to make buildings blend in their environments. One of her best designs can be admired at Le Louvre Lens Museum, France (pictured below). Another work of art that bears her name is the New Museum based in New York City. If she can make such chef-d’oeuvre, it is not hard to believe that she can also come up with an invisible train, right?!
The train will be carrying passengers in rural and urban areas linking Tokyo to the mountains of Chichibu.
“I thought it would be good,” said Sejima, “if the train could gently coexist with this variety of scenery.”