It’s been nearly 40 years since the Galaxy Express 999 first departed for the Planet Prometheum and all of the emotional existential adventures in between. It became a manga and anime series that filled viewers’ heads with fantasies of romantic space travel on a locomotive.
Now it seems series creator Leiji Matsumoto is tired of dreaming and is readying to construct a real Galaxy Express 999. Before you ask: No, he’s not high.
Clearly building a locomotive capable of intergalactic travel is about as technically ridiculous as projects come. So, the Galaxy Express 999 Realization Project is looking to make as authentic a train as possible to the series, minus the entry to space.
The Galaxy Express 999 would run on Seibu Railways which we’ve seen be pretty open-minded in the past with their dance club train . The train itself aims to be a faithful recreation of the actual Galaxy Express 999 as depicted in the manga and anime right down to the steam engine. Also, if it works out, the project will expand to decorating stations to fit the various worlds visited by the train as well.
Details are vague at the moment, however, as the project is still only in the very early stages. It is currently in crowdfunding and after only one day has risen 792,000 yen (US$6,500) of its lofty 29,990,000 yen ($246,000) goal, with 83 days to go until the campaign closes. High bidders will receive a chance at riding the train first, take photos of it before it’s officially unveiled, or get a drawing of Maetal by Matsumoto while attending a luncheon with him.
Meanwhile the Galaxy Express 999 Realization Project will be holding events to gather designers and engineers from around the world to help make it possible. Even without escaping gravity, building a replica will be a large task and even the 77-year-old Matsumoto is unsure that he will live to see its completion.
However, he said he would be content knowing that the train is being made so that the fans will have great memories and the chance to say “I was there,” and “I got to ride on the Galaxy Express 999.”
Galaxy Express 999 Realization Project
Official Site (Japanese)
Crowdfunding Page Makuake (Japanese)
Source: Netlab (Japanese)
Images: Makuake ©Leiji Matsumoto