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Trains are attracting the world's attention as an environmentally conscious way of transportation. What can we do to make trains for our customers that are not just safer and more comfortable, but also more environmentally conscious? We began as pioneers in the manufacture of electric locomotives, and we are already working on that challenge.
We are used to using trains without much thought, but in fact, they are systems that combine many technologies.
As a comprehensive rail systems integrator, we bring together environmental technology and IT to support the railways of the future, which are expected to serve as vital social infrastructure.
Expectations have been rising in the last few years for railways as an environmentally conscious mode of transportation.
For example, the development of new drive systems and rolling stock. Is it possible to reduce, even a little, the enormous power it takes to run rolling stock? And couldn't rolling stock be made from materials that are easy to recycle?...
Our challenge for “railways x environmental technology” began from such ideas. Rolling stock for the Earth, jointly developed by Hitachi and our rail company partners, is already running in cities.
The system configuration of hybrid drive systems
In hybrid drive systems, every carriage is equipped with a combination of diesel engine and storage batteries.
The system recovers energy generated by braking, stores it in storage batteries, and reuses it for power when the carriage moves off again. This reduces fuel consumption and cuts the noise of stopping at a station by approximately 30db. The engines are equipped with countermeasures against gas emissions, and the combined result of engines and hybridization is a 60% reduction in harmful substances in exhaust gases.
Hitachi began developing hybrid drive systems jointly with East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in 2001.
On July 31st, 2007, rolling stock equipped with a hybrid drive system began running on the Koumi Line (between Komoro and Kobuchizawa, Nagano), the world's first practical and commercial development of such a system.
Tokyo Metro rolling stock, built with A-train technology
The “A” in A-train combines the meanings of four “A”s: Advance, Amenity, Ability and Aluminum.
Lightweight aluminum A-train rolling stock saves energy in operation and, thanks to the properties of aluminum materials, it is simple to recycle.
“We want to run new kinds of rolling stock in the cities!” We hear about that kind of need from around the world, not just in Japan.
In December 2009, in England, the home of the train, new, high-speed rolling stock developed by Hitachi began running on the High Speed 1 (HS1), the line that links London with the tunnel at the Straits of Dover.
“We want to do our part for the future of rail” ... Hitachi's Rail Systems Business will keep on running towards the future Earth, to realize that dream as soon as possible for customers in Europe and around the world.
High-speed rolling stock
formally in operation since December 2009
Began operation in April 2009
Express rolling stock
Began operation in June 2009
Began operation in January 2007
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