News Releases from Headquarters


Hitachi's Revolutionary “A-train” to be exhibited for First Time in Europe at
InnoTrans 2002
Visit Hitachi's Exhibition Stand at Hall4.2a Stand16
Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2002 -- Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501 / NYSE:HIT) is displaying its ground breaking "A-train" rolling stock system for the first time in Europe at InnoTrans 2002.

This is the first time that Hitachi has participated at InnoTrans and it reflects the company's long term commitment to become a leading solutions provider in Europe's rail systems and services market.

Hitachi has over 85 years experience in constructing reliable networks in Japan and other countries. In Japan, the company developed the Shinkansen 'bullet' train - with a maximum speed of 300kph, the fastest train in the world - and has subsequently become the country's only total systems integrator for railway systems and services.

One of the most significant breakthroughs in recent years, Hitachi's next generation "A-train" responds to growing demand for a safe, environmentally friendly rolling stock system that is quieter, more comfortable and more cost effective than conventional systems. Hitachi has already proved its effectiveness across various types of services in Japan including commuter, suburban and express. Hitachi is now actively marketing the "A-train" in Europe with particular focus on the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

A number of revolutionary manufacturing methods and components have been incorporated in the design of the "A-train" including the following:

  • Friction stir welding (FSW), an innovative welding method that results in little or no distortion or contraction. This enables a high precision, high quality aluminium double skin carbody to be produced that is sleeker in appearance than conventional trains. The use of FSW to replace fusion welding is one of the recommendations in the Uff Cullen Report on the Ladbroke Inquiry and is attracting considerable interest from around the world.
  • A fully self-supported interior module
  • A mounting rail with an extrusion structure to form a single unit, enabling a much simpler fastening of the module to the mounting rail

The "A-train" provides many advantages including a much quieter interior, improved rigidity and a safer crashworthy structure. In addition, the modular concept approach has enabled a shorter production lead time, easier refurbishment and better residual value. It is also superior to conventional trains in terms of recylability due to the use of aluminium and its module-to-mounting rail structure which can be easily dismantled.

By greatly reducing the number of components in the carbody structure and eliminating most of the adjustment processes in the interior panel fitting, the "A-train" is effective in reducing life-cycle cost and environmental damage.

In addition to the "A-train", over time Hitachi plans to introduce a number of additional solutions to the European rail market including traffic management systems, signalling systems, communications and maintenance facilities.

The "A-train" is the centre-piece of Hitachi's exhibition stand which will also be displaying a new platform gate system with the following features: freedom of installation, floor free from door rail, simultaneous operation with car door operation etc.

Takazumi Ishizu, Managing Officer, Transportation systems at Hitachi, Ltd. said, "In Japan, Hitachi has played a significant role in developing one of the world's finest rail system with a reputation for safety, punctuality and reliability. As rail companies in Europe are demanding greater operational efficiencies and higher levels of maintainability, we are confident that Hitachi will rapidly become one of Europe's leading rail solutions providers."

Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company, with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2001(ended March 31, 2002) consolidated sales totalled 7,994 billion yen ($60.1 billion).The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors, including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's Web site at http://global.hitachi.com.

About Hitachi Europe Ltd.
Hitachi Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan. Headquartered in Maidenhead, UK, it has operations in 16 countries and employs over 740 people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As a 'Best Solutions Partner' Hitachi Europe tailors its services and solutions to meet the specific needs of its customers. Hitachi Europe comprises eleven key business areas: power and industrial systems; information systems; high performance computing; digital media, consumer products, electronic components; automotive; air-conditioning and refrigeration systems; procurement and sourcing; and corporate technology group (research & development) and the Hitachi Design Centre. For more information about Hitachi Europe Ltd., please visit http://www.hitachi-eu.com.


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.

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