Next stop, moquette seats!

Late last year, major railway JR East wowed the railfan and gaming communities by releasing JR East Train Simulator on Steam. Reality is the name of the game here, in which authentic sights and sounds are incorporated in this real train driver training simulation that has been modified for home use.

This brings those who dream of riding the rails for a living one step closer to making it a reality like never before. However, during long shifts servicing the simulated Yamanote Line, it’s hard not to look around and be sadly reminded by your office chair or fingers covered in potato chip grease that it’s still just a dream.

Image: PR Times

Well, fret not! JR East is coming to the rescue with even more details to make your train simulation even more simulated. From 14 July the railway has started accepting pre-orders for the Train Driver Starter Kit.

Each kit contains a pair of white nylon gloves, because train drivers should always conduct themselves with an air of class. Besides, doing that little pointy thing just doesn’t feel right without them.

There are also three types of authentic-looking replica timetables, matching the ones used on the Tokaido Line 1865E train, Oito Line 5329M train, and Chuo Line 1654T service, all of which are featured in the game.

And of course you’ll be needing a plastic sleeve for the timetables, but the ones included in these kits are not your ordinary sleeves. They’ve all seen action on JR East lines in real life, so if you notice some scratches or creases in yours, know that those are badges of honor rather than imperfections.

The kit also includes a notebook with a driver’s log that was made by the same manufacturer as the one that supplies JR.

As nice as having a full chair would be, shipping would be incredibly costly and difficult. So, JR East did the next best thing and created a cushion for your own chair made with the exact same moquette fabric as the ones actual drivers of E233 series trains use. Your butt won’t know the difference!

A kit costs 16,500 yen (US$119) and they’re expected to ship in late August for those who pre-order. It’ll show up right on your doorstep in a snazzy green box.

This won’t completely transform your gaming setup into the lead car on the Keihin Tohoku Line, but it will add a good deal of realism to the overall experience. We can probably expect more kits in the future and JR East Mall also sells other authentic gear like pocket watches and attaché cases similar to the ones used by drivers.

I imagine they’ll stop short of actual uniforms and ID badges though. Knowing the kinds of shenanigans some of the more die-hard train otaku get up to, that’s just a recipe for disaster.

Source: PR Times, PR East Mall, Netlab
Images: PR East Mall (Unless otherwise noted)
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