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The World's First Hybrid Railcar - Development of the NE Train

East Japan Railway Company

April 8, 2003

East Japan Railway Company has promoted development of the New Energy (NE) Train with the aim of reducing the environmental demands of railway trains through the use of innovative power systems such as hybrid systems and fuel cells.
As the first step in this process, JR East has recently completed a prototype railcar equipped with a hybrid system, and will conduct running tests to evaluate the system performance, energy saving effects and other characteristics.

Development of the NE Train has proceeded at the JR East Advanced Railway System Development Center, and the prototype is a powered single railcar. The power system uses a hybrid system (series type) that may be useful for future fuel cell railcars.
Following the test preparations, running tests to confirm basic performance will be conducted from May on the Nikko line, and the energy saving effects, durability and other characteristics will also be evaluated on other routes.

Main Features of the Prototype Railcar

  • Reduced Environmental Load
    - The hybrid system makes effective use of regenerative energy when braking, and provides energy savings of some 20% compared to current diesel railcars (Kiha 110 series). In addition, noise is reduced by stopping the engine at station platforms and other locations.
    - The power generating diesel engine employs the latest emission countermeasures, and together with the hybrid system effects JR East is aiming to halve the nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) levels in the exhaust gas.
  • Use of the Latest Railcar Technology
    - JR East has made the fullest use of its proprietary railcar technology in developing this prototype railcar, and has worked to use the same equipment as the latest commuter railcars. This reduces maintenance and achieves running performance as good as current railcars.
  • Sun and Earth Design Motif
    - The prototype railcar image colors are red and green, and the car body sides use a design with red arcs representing the sun and green arcs representing the earth.
    - The logo mark represents the "N" and "E" of the NE Train, and symbolizes the energy source of the sun and our irreplaceable earth.
    NE Train logo