w00t w0000t…Hybrid Train – Next Year

Written by on April 1, 2006

{mosimage}The East Japan Railway Company will be introducing the world's first hybrid train in 2007. And I mean, why not? The energy needed to stop a behemoth commuter train can't be trivial.

The train runs soley on litium ion batteries until it reaches 30 mph. The deisel engine then kicks on and provides the boost needed to get the train really moving, and re-charge the batteries, if needed. Of course, the train's breaking also recharges the batteries, and the engine automatically shuts off when the train is in idle.

The hybrid system reduces particulate and NOx emissions by around 60% and improves the overall efficiency of the train by around 10%. The Railway Company is also hoping that fuel batteries will become a viable alternative to fossil fuel engines, and has created the train with the specific intent of eventually replacing the deisel engine with fuel batteries.

From the Japan Times


11 Responses to “w00t w0000t…Hybrid Train – Next Year”

  1. Uncle B says:

    It seems the Chinese have epoched the GM “Volt” with a hybrid gas, electric plug-in that can run batteries only, gas only or both! They are on the streets and in service as we speak and expect to retail for under $22,000. State’s side by 2011!See: http://www.cleantech.com/news/3983/chinas-byd-sells-first-mass-produced-plug-cars
    The U.S.A. needs inter-city high speed trains right now. and as the oil drys up or is priced off the market by OPEC, a substitute for flying must be found.

  2. Japan
    This country, Japan, never stops to create new technology, they are like a super inventor machine that has new projects every second.

  3. 30 mph maximum?! yeah..it reduces pollution..but still..people are usually in a hurry.. they want to get home!

  4. PC says:

    1st August 2007 – World’s first hybrid p
    The world’s first hybrid train for passenger service, (very different from locomotives for freight yards) is powered by hitachi’s hybrid traction system. It is the world’s first diesel battery hybrid train which runs up to 100km/hr in commercial service. A fuel-cell version is now being tested in Japan.

    Meanwhile in the UK, Hitachi have rolled out the world’s first hybrid high speed train, now in service with Network Rail. see http://www.hitachi-rail.com

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  7. What Do You Get When You Cross A Train W
    For innovative solutions to train technologies… why don’t we revisit an old idea…

    Back in the early 80’s when there was a “British Rail”, invariably they were skint, and looking for a cheap solution to a problem. teh problem was small economical trains. Rather than build a train, as logic would dictate, they chummied up with another great institution of the age – British Leyland, sadly also no longer with us, and decided what would it look like if a train and a bus got together and had kids… the result was the ‘Pacer’ train. A cheap bit of R&D on their part, where an existing diesel bus was taken, and whacked onto some train rolling stock. Whilst there were things to be ‘ironed out’ and the odd problem, the idea was a success- these ‘Pacers’ still run.

    Now it strikes me, that there is an awful lot of EcoGeekery in the world of Bus Innovation – we have Hybrid Buses, Hydrogen Buses, Gas Buses, Electric Buses… e.t.c., so for manufacturers who have invested a lot of R&D into making these modes of transport a reality, could turn a quick buck, by seeing if their ideas could be turned for the rails. Food for thought?


  8. tmm45 says:

    green train efficiency and bio-diesel
    I recently read this August article at Moneycontrol.com:

    Since March 2007, the Bombardier* Electrostar* fleet operated by c2c, has switched over to a regenerative braking process designed to reduce power consumption by returning the electrical power generated by applying the brakes directly back into the supply network. c2c is already experiencing energy savings of up to 20 per cent and is the only train operator whose entire fleet of 74 trains has adopted this energy saving process.

    More info on Bombardier and their biodiesel trials at

  9. Andy says:

    It’s the batteries that are new
    The diesel-electric hybrid locomotive isn’t new but has been standard for decades in the US presumably due to the low speed torque advantage of electric powertrains. What’s new about the concept mentioned in the article is the idea of storing electricity. Current engines produce all the electricity as needed by the diesel generator.

  10. William says:

    The Japanese weren’t first by a long sho
    I know this is a dated blog post, but if it was advertising a hybrid train coming soon in 2007, then it was nowhere close to being the first hybrid train. The first commercial hybrid train that I know was Railpower Technologies’ “Green Goat” switcher which was on the rails back in 2002 (see http://www.trainweb.com/travelogues/rayburns/2002g02a.html) . These were more than just prototypes. They are actually in use Union Pacific’s rail fleet (see http://www.hybrid-vehicles.net/unionpacific-hybridtrains.htm).
    Combined with the recently shipping GE Evolution series of trains, the current generation of Gen-Set power units, and the huge transport efficencies associated with rail transport, the modern railroading industry has lots of beneficial environmental changes going on within it.

  11. patrick says:

    whatever happened to the hybrid electric train? did they or will they build it?


    also, what is the status on available full use electric vehicles? anything below $50,000 yet?