Having a face like the back-end of a bus is less than desirable, but how about a face like the front of a train?

Thanks to the influence of Thomas the Tank Engine and the other inhabitants of Sodor on my impressionable child mind, every time I see the front of a train my brain quickly anthropomorphises it into having a face and a distinct personality. Now, thanks to a collaboration between Japan Rail East and JINS! Glasses, it will be possible to do the opposite: look at faces and see trains with a series of spectacles that pay homage to the Yamanote Line train (incidentally, Ultraman’s train line of choice), the E235.

▼ The ‘Kuha‘ frame

There will be three styles of frame on offer, each modelled on a different type of carriage chassis that make up the whole train. There’s the ‘Kuha‘ (クハ) which reflects the type of carriage in which the driver’s station is located, the ‘Moha‘ (モハ)which is a carriage with under-slung motor, and the ‘Saha‘ (サハ), a carriage that has neither a motor nor a driver’s station, and is merely dragged along by its fellows.

▼ The ‘Moha

▼ The ‘Saha

The glasses’ frames will be produced in the same factory and use the same stainless steel materials as the train carriage themselves with the train manufacturer’s logo, the Japan Rail East logo, and the limited-run frame’s serial number engraved. Fear not – if your glasses get dirty, or perhaps steam up watching trains go by, there’s a specially branded wiping cloth which also represents the train’s frontage. The carry case is also made from the same material as the seat covers.

Those who purchase the glasses between October 7 and December 25 will be in with a shot of being one of 30 winners invited to tour the factory where their glasses frames and the E235 and other trains are made, in Yokohama.

The glasses will go on sale on November 9 from the JINS online shop and at selected JINS stores, retailing for 20,000 yen (US$178) including tax. They’ll also be available to buy at the 24th Railway Festival being held in Hibiya Park in Tokyo on October 7 and 8 with only 100 pairs each of the ‘Kuha’ and ‘Moha’ varieties on sale, perfect for yourself, or the densha otaku in your life. Even better, unlike the carriages themselves, the glasses are unisex.

Source, images: J!NS Press Release