JIYUKŪKAN: The Future of Night Trains


JIYUKŪKAN (free space) is a concept within the idea of high speed night train traveling in distances between 800 to 1200 km.The choice of transport is highly price driven which makes flights attractive on short distances. This is why the number of flights is increasing every year. The evolving high speed rail network and the possibility to run trains with renewable energy offers a cleaner and more comfortable alternative to travel between hub cities in a range of 1000km in the future. How can a high speed night train attract passengers to decrease the number of domestic flights?

Inspiration and Method

The project is inspired by Japanese capsule hotels and modern plane interiors. Additionally I looked at the efficient use of space in sleep boxes at airports and sound dampening methods in music studios. Materials and technology can reduce the monotone sounds in a train to a minimum. It was important to fit in as many passengers in a comfortable way.

The design and dimensions were based on user mock up tests to evaluate the minimal size for comfort. Tape drawings were used to experience the feeling of a train carriage in its real size. The final dimensions were implemented into the final CAD model and were tested in a 1: 20 scale model to refine the design. The final model was partly 3D printed, milled and vaccuum formed


The open interior space creates a comfortable lounge experience for travelers who look for sustainable alternatives to domestic flights. The interior layout is suitable for leisure and business travelers who could either enjoy the panorama view or their WIFI connected devices.

Passengers can keep their luggage close by and lock it within their sound proof tent while sleeping. The LED tent cover lights up to wake up passengers in the morning. Half transparent fabric provide privacy and open space at the same time. One carriage fits 44 passengers and 4 showers which can be booked in 10min time slots. The beds transform into armchairs and the table highlights a socket to charge digital devices. Passengers arrive rested in the city center without the feel of loosing time.