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Japanese First to Introduce Hybrid Passenger Railcars

Japanese First to Introduce Hybrid Passenger Railcars

East Japan Railway Co. has announced it will manufacture and operate the world's first three diesel-electric hybrid railcars for passenger trains. This decision was made after building and testing a prototype for performance and energy efficiency of this new motive system.

Railcars with the hybrid system can save energy through effective use of the regenerative breaking system, and thereby increase fuel efficiency by about 10% compared to conventional railcars on the Koumi Line, where the hybrid railcars will be introduced.

The railcars utilize cutting-edge low-emission diesel engines (common-rail design) for electricity generation, and combined with the benefits of the hybrid system, the company aims to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter such as black soot by about 60%.

Besides the new motive system, the railcars are designed to be more accessible and comfortable, with lower floors, to reduce the height difference between the car floor and the exterior platform, adjusted length of ceiling straps near priority seats for passengers with special needs, and wider seats.