The Central Japan Railway Company has revealed it is building dedicated video conferencing carriages for its famous bullet trains, in an effort to better service its business customers.
Although Wi-Fi is already available on bullet train services, the new “S-Work” carriages will offer double the connection speed, which should ensure customers can hold calls with minimal disruption.
The seats will also be equipped with power outlets to help keep devices topped up, and the railway company even says it will loan out mice, privacy screens and laptop pillows on request.
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To make space for the new carriages, the firm will retire its old smoking-friendly cars, which no longer serve a purpose after a country-wide ban on smoking on trains came into effect last year.
In some instances, booths previously set aside for smokers will also be replaced with privacy pods, for workers who would prefer not to be overheard by fellow passengers.
Video conferencing at 300km/h
Initially, the work-friendly carriages will be available on only two routes (between Tokyo and Nagoya, and Tokyo and Osaka) and only on a specific type of bullet train: the N700S.
A translation of the promotional website suggests an S Work ticket between Tokyo and Osaka will cost 14,520 yen (roughly $130), with discounts available if booked in advance. As usual, prices will also fluctuate between busy and quiet seasons.
As a condition of travel, children will not be allowed to accompany business travelers and passengers are required to work as quietly as possible (that means you, loud typists) to help others concentrate on their work and/or meetings.
Although the website is somewhat unclear, partly due to translation issues, the S Work carriages appear set to make their debut in mid-October.
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Via The Register