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|Hitachi Receives Order for 96 Tsukuba Express Cars|
Tokyo, Japan, September 17, 2002 -- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501) today announced that it received an order for 96 railway cars for the Tsukuba Express railway line, scheduled to open in 2005, from the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. These cars, developed by Hitachi, Ltd. under the "A-Train" moniker, provide innovative solutions to such critical issues faced by the next generation as life cycle, maintenance and recycling.
The Tsukuba Express railway line, which will connect Akihabara (Tokyo) with Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture), will have a total length of 58.3km and a top speed of 130km/h, making it possible to travel between these two important points in just 45 minutes. The design concept of the A-Train cars was for a sleek, lightweight design suitable to high-speed railways and in line with the philosophy that the railway should merge seemlessly with the area so that railway and town can evolve and develop together.
Hitachi's A-Train features a lightweight, recyclable aluminum body, which is approximately 30% lighter than conventional stainless steel bodies, thereby allowing a reduction in running costs. The aluminum double skin body simplifies the manufacturing process, eliminating the need for a framework construction. In addition, the use of frictional heating eliminates the need for filler materials and the use of FSW (Friction Stir Welding), a mechanical welding process allows for a strong, sleek train body with little distortion.
In addition, such parts as the ceiling, side panels, electrical wiring, and piping, which in conventional construction methods are attached to the train body toward the end of the manufacturing process have been modularized, allowing a simpler construction process, greater flexibility and easier maintenance. In addition, this process requires fewer welding points and parts.
Hitachi Ltd. has thus far received orders for 550 A-train cars and aims to increase orders in the future.
|Information contained in this news release is current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.|
|WRITTEN BY Corporate Communications Division