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Old August 12th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #921
quashlo
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Kawasaki unveils new rail car testing facility and track
http://journalstar.com/business/loca...9e7397552.html

Quote:
Tuesday's unveiling of Kawasaki's new rail-car testing facility and test track seemed more like a concert or motivational speech than a standard ribbon cutting.

All 1,500 Kawasaki employees, most of them in blue uniform shirts, gathered in the company's rail car production plant while music blared from speakers and a big-screen TV showed images of the scene.

In the background sat one of the M8 passenger cars Kawasaki is building for the Metro-North Railroad in New York and Connecticut.

"This is a definite milestone in our history," Bryan Saucerman, deputy plant manager of the rail car division, told the employees, Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing executives and invited dignitaries, including Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler.

That milestone is completion of the $40 million testing facility and track.

The 36,000-square-foot test building and 2,000-foot-long test track make the Lincoln plant the only site in North America with the ability to build rail cars from the ground up and test them on-site, said Mike Boyle, vice president and manager of the Lincoln Kawasaki plant.

Previously, cars manufactured in Lincoln would be sent to Kawasaki's rail site in Yonkers, N.Y., for testing.

Boyle said the advantage of testing them in Lincoln means problems can be caught before the cars are shipped off.

Also, being able to see the mistakes they made helps employees learn from them and avoid them in the future, he said.

"It's a much more efficient way to build a rail car," Boyle said.

Another advantage to doing it all in Lincoln, he said, is that more U.S. labor goes into the cars, which makes it easier for them to qualify for federal funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's "Buy American" provision.

Since beginning rail car production in Lincoln in 2001, Kawasaki nearly has doubled the size of its rail car plant and grown the workforce fivefold.

Though the consumer-products side of the plant, which makes Jet Skis and all-terrain vehicles, has seen its workforce shrink to just more than 1,000 from close to 1,500 a few years ago, the rail-car operation steadily has grown.

There are now almost 500 workers dedicated to rail-car production, and that number is poised to grow by more than 20 percent over the next year.

Boyle said Kawasaki will hire 115 more permanent employees between now and April 2012 as it speeds up production on the M8 cars for Metro-North.

"To satisfy this contract, we have to get production back on track," Boyle said.

Kawasaki ran into problems earlier this spring when a supplier sent incorrect parts and had to stop work and temporarily lay off more than 100 workers.

But the workers are back on the job, and production is now up-and-running again.

Kawasaki finished its order of 332 cars for the Port Authority Trans Hudson line, which like Metro-North is part of New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in May.

It has an order for more than 400 cars for the Washington, D.C., Metro rail system, which it will start work on sometime next year.

But for now, Kawasaki is focused on building the M8 cars.

The first three dozen cars were built in Japan, and many already are in service. Kawasaki expects to ship the first car from Lincoln sometime in the next week.

Invited guests and media members got to ride one of the M8 cars Tuesday during a test that also served as a ribbon cutting for the rail testing facility.

The new cars have higher ceilings, improved passenger seat and armrest designs, and larger bathrooms that comply with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

The cars so far have been well-received by Metro-North officials and passengers.

Several people interviewed in a March story in the New Haven Register referred to the cars as "comfortable" and also commented on the smoothness and quietness of the ride.

"I am pleased to hear that the new M8 cars are well-received by the New York and Connecticut commuters," said Yoshinori Kanehana, rail car division vice president for Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the Japanese conglomerate of which Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing is a division.

Kanehana said it is important the cars coming out of Lincoln also gain a good reputation, "so that we can bring more projects to this plant and sustain its future."

Boyle said that with the investment made in the Lincoln plant, the plan going forward is that almost all manufacturing for U.S. contracts will take place in Lincoln.

The Yonkers plant will mostly do service work, retrofitting and sales, he said.

Boyle said the Lincoln plant, which produces mostly subway and commuter rail cars, is equipped to produce standard passenger rail cars, such as for Amtrak. However, he said the plant would need upgrades to be able to produce cars for high-speed rail.

That may be in the cards some day. Kanehana told those at Tuesday's ceremony it is Kawasaki's goal to become the No. 1 passenger rail car manufacturer in the U.S.

"We expect that through the support of the Obama administration and the Congress, more investments will be made in the public transportation and intercity high-speed passenger rail projects for years to come," he said. Kanehana also urged Heineman and Nebraska's Congressional delegation to support such efforts.

An "M8" rail car bound for the Metro-North Railroad breaks through a ribbon marking the official opening of the Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, U.S.A. Rail Car Test track at the company's Lincoln facility Tuesday morning, July 26, 2011. (ERIC GREGORY / Lincoln Journal Star)


Matsushiro Asano, the President of Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., USA, addresses workers, dignitaries and media during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company's new Rail Car Test Track at the Lincoln Plant Tuesday morning, July 26, 2011. (ERIC GREGORY / Lincoln Journal Star)


Kawasaki's new 36,000 square foot testing facility allows inspectors access below and above its rail cars as well as a 2,000 foot test track to allow dynamic testing of the cars in motion. (ERIC GREGORY / Lincoln Journal Star)


Scott Johnson installs conduit on the undercarriage of an "M8" rail car destined for the Metro-North Railroad before a ribbon cutting to celebrate the official opening of a rail car test track at the Kawasaki plant in Lincoln Tuesday, July 26, 2011. (ERIC GREGORY / Lincoln Journal Star)

A few pics of the first cars being transported out of the Lincoln plant:
http://www.subchat.com/read.asp?Id=1092716

Hopefully this will give Kawasaki a better chance at winning some of the U.S. railcar contracts, including those for HSR. Nippon Sharyō, which already produces a lot of commuter railcars, will also be establishing a new production facility in Rochelle, Ill.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #922
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Japan wins 5 Brunel Awards, 7 Brunel Commendations: Part 1

On 2011.07.28 and 2011.07.29, the 11th Brunel Awards (2011) winners were announced. Japanese entries won a total of 12 awards—five Brunel Awards and seven Brunel Commendations—the highest of any of the participating countries, several more than the runner-up, the United States (five Brunel Awards and three Brunel Commendations). From the entries selected, it’s clear that the recent openings of the Kyūshū Shinkansen and Tōhoku Shinkansen extensions were favorable to Japan, although there were unrelated entries which were also selected for awards.

A short description of the Brunel Awards:
“The Brunel Awards competition recognizes and promotes the best in railway architecture, engineering, landscape and environmental design, product design, locomotive and car design, graphic arts, and corporate branding amongst the world’s railroad organizations. The competition is open to all public and private railway organizations that own or operate common carrier rail services on classic mainline or high speed rail infrastructure, an public or private railroad infrastructure owner/managers.”

Run-down of the winners:
Announcement is here: http://www.watford-group.org/brunel-coming.html

Brunel Awards (19)

Category 1: Railway Stations (7)
JR Hokkaidō (Japan): New Iwamizawa Rail Station
Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) (Japan): New Shin-Tosu Station

ProRail (Netherlands): Upgrade of Hilversum Station
ProRail (Netherlands): New Emmen Zuid Rail Station
Jernhusen AB (Sweden): Extension to Malmo Railway Station
Amtrak (USA): Rehabilitation of the Wilmington DE Station
SEPTA (USA): Rehabilitation of Fort Washington, Ambler and North Wales Stations

Category 2: Technical Infrastructure (2)
Austrian Railways ÖBB (Austria): New Freudenauer Harbor Bridge
REFER (Portugal): New Sado River Bridge

Category 3: Freight and Railroad Support Buildings (3)
Pro Rail (Netherlands): Drontemeer Tunnel Facility Service Building
Metro North Railroad (USA): Croton Harmon Locomotive and Car Workshop
DC Dept. of Transportation (USA): Washington DC Union Station Bike Transit Center

Category 4: Industrial Design, Corporate Branding, Graphics, Furnishing (4)
Austrian Railways ÖBB (Austria): Public Information Box at Vienna Station site
German Rail DB (Germany): Frankfurt Station “Kaffeepunkt” Platform Pavilion
ADIF (Spain): Laguna Station-New Seats with sciatic support
Union Pacific Railroad (USA): Heritage Locomotive Fleet Program

Category 5: Rolling Stock (3)
East Japan Railway (Japan): Series E5 Sinkansen High Speed Train
East Japan Railway (Japan): Narita Express E259 Trainset
West Japan Railway/JR Kyūshū (Japan): Series N700-7000/8000 High Speed Trainset


Brunel Commendations (24)

Category 1: Stations (11)
Austrian Railways ÖBB (Austria): New Station Vienna Heiligenstadt
SNCF Gares & Connexions (France): Orleans Multi-modal Transport Hub
SNCF Gares & Connexions (France): Redevelopment of Vichy Station
SNCF Gares & Connexions (France): New Station Bellegarde sur Valserine
JR Kyūshū (Japan): Kumamoto Station Passageway
Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) (Japan): Shin-Tamana Station

REFER (Portugal): Renovate and Expand Rossio Station
ADIF (Spain): New Cuenca High Speed Rail Station
Swiss Railways SBB/CFF/FFS (Switzerland): Extend and Remodel Brig Station
Swiss Railways SBB/CFF/FFS (Switzerland): Redevelop and Remodel Chur Station
Swiss Railways SBB/CFF/FFS (Switzerland): Zurich Letten Viaduct Commercial Spaces

Category 2: Technical Infrastructure (3)
Austrian Railways ÖBB (Austria): New Salzach Bridge
MBTA (USA): Replacement of Massachusetts Avenue and Columbia Road Bridges
Norfolk Southern Railway (USA): Heartland Corridor

Category 3: Freight and Railroad Support Buildings (3)
SNCF Semmaris (France): New Facilities at Rungis National Food Market-Paris
Central Japan Railway (Japan): Maglev and Railway Park Museum Building
REFER (Portugal): Lisbon Operations Control Center

Category 4: Industrial Design, Corporate Branding, Graphics, Furnishing (4)
JR Kyūshū (Japan): Hakata City Station Roof Garden and Park
JR Kyūshū (Japan): Hakata City Station Tile Art Project
JR Kyūshū (Japan): Kyūshū Shinkansen Travel Products and Advertising Campaign

Network Rail (United Kingdom): Corporate Offices Branding Program

Category 5: Rolling Stock (3)
East Japan Railway (Japan): HB-300 Hybrid Sightseeing Train
Swiss Railways SBB/CFF/FFS (Switzerland): Ee992 Dual Voltage Electric Shunting Locomotive
Amtrak (USA): Superliner I Coach Overhaul

Tabulation by Country
Code:
Country         Awards  Commendations
==============  ======  =============
Austria           2           2
France 	          4
Germany           1
Japan 	          5           7
Netherlands       3
Portugal          1           2
Spain             1           1
Sweden            1	
Switzerland       4
United Kingdom    1
USA               5           3
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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #923
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Japan wins 5 Brunel Awards, 7 Brunel Commendations: Part 2

Some photos and videos of the winners:

Iwamizawa Station
Photos
This one already won several awards domestically, including a Good Design Award and an Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) Award.


Source: hokkaidoch on YouTube

Shin-Tosu Station
Photos: 1, 2, 3
My personal favorite on the new Kyūshū Shinkansen extension.

E5 series Hayabusa
I suspect this will win this year’s Blue Ribbon Award from the Japan Railfan Club.

Fan-produced PV:


Source: tobirabito on YouTube

E259 series Narita Express
This won a Blue Ribbon Award, as well as a Good Design Award. I like the Skyliner better, but I don’t think Keisei qualifies to submit entries.


Source: RAILWAYMOVIES on YouTube

N700-7000 / N700-8000 series Sakura / Mizuho

A 25-minute tour on an N700 Sakura from Hakata to Kumamoto:


Source: mkurashina on YouTube
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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #924
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Japan wins 5 Brunel Awards, 7 Brunel Commendations: Part 3

Kumamoto Station
Photos

Shin-Tamana Station
Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4

SC Maglev and Railway Park
I never got a chance to post it, but JR Central opened their new railway / maglev museum in Nagoya in March of this year. It’s proven quite popular despite opening on March 14 immediately after the earthquake / tsunami, and they have already reached their attendance goals for the first year. Lots of trains on display, including the C62 17 (fastest steam locomotive in Japan), the Shinkansen 300X (experimental Shinkansen unit that holds steel-wheel speed record for Japan), and the MLX01-1 (experimental superconducting maglev unit and holder of the world speed record).


Source: mkurashina on YouTube

JR Hakata City Tile Art
Photos: 1, 2, 3

JR Hakata City Rooftop and Garden
Photos

Kyūshū Shinkansen Marketing Campaign
A short Kansai-area TV special report on the “phantom” CM that never made it to TV:


Source: 453popstar on YouTube

HB-E300 series hybrid DMU
Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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Old August 16th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Japan wins 5 Brunel Awards, 7 Brunel Commendations: Part 1
Interesting information, thank you quashlo.

How come that there seem to be no other Japanese companies than the JRs. Did other companies participate but not win? I am mainly thinking of Keisei with it's great looking "new" Skyliner train.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #926
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Not sure... It seems like Keisei may not qualify as an operator of "classic mainline or high speed rail" services, which appears to be a prerequisite for nomination. Then again, there have been some past winners from Japan that don't really qualify for that, namely Minato Mirai Station on the Minato Mirai Line in Yokohama (2005). The Odakyū 60000 MSE also won an award last time in 2008, which seems to indicate that the new Skyliner could have qualified.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:18 AM   #927
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Tōyō Denki to set up new subsidiary in Beijing
http://www.toyodenki.co.jp/html/images/ir_150_31.pdf

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At our Board of Directors’ Meeting held on August 16, 2011, Tōyō Denki approved a resolution to establish a subsidiary in the People’s Republic of China (China), as detailed below.

Reasons for establishment of the subsidiary
In order to expand and strengthen our transport and industrial businesses in China, which is anticipated for continuing growth and development in the future, Tōyō Denki has decided to establish a subsidiary in Beijing City.

Details of the subsidiary
Company name (planned): Yangdian Trade (Beijing), Ltd.
Location: Room 2605, Tower B, Jianwai SOHO, No. 39 East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing City
Representative: Board Chairman Tsuchiya Masayoshi (currently also serving as Deputy Director of Business in the Transportation Business Unit and Director of Promotion in China)
Founding date: September 2011 (planned)
Fiscal year end: December 31
Registered capital: US $1.6 million
Main business: Sales of railcar electrical equipment and general industrial electrical equipment, as well as import / export duties and after-service tasks related to the above
Ownership: 100% owned by Tōyō Denki

Forecasts
The impact of establishment of this company on our performance for the current consolidated fiscal year is minimal.
The company’s annual revenues in the Chinese market are currently around Ą8 billion, and it has already supplied electrical equipment for trains operating on the Beijing Subway and the Wuguang (Wuhan – Guangzhou) High-Speed Railway. They appear to be banking on continued expansion of the Beijing Subway, as well as orders for the Jinghu (Beijing – Shanghai) High-Speed Railway.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #928
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Tōhoku Shinkansen will return to pre-quake schedule September 23

Full press release:
http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2011/20110811.pdf

Good news and a sign that things are returning to normal.

In other recent news, the next E5 series unit (Unit U5) was recently delivered to JR East’s Shinkansen General Rolling Stock Center in Sendai. Off-loading from boat and delivery to the Shinkansen yard began on 2011.07.28. This is the fourth unit following the three already in service on the Hayabusa (Units U2, U3, and U4), and was originally scheduled to be delivered some time in March. Due to the earthquake / tsunami and resulting damage at the Port of Sendai, however, the arrival is technically four months late. A total of 59 units (including the pre-production S11 unit) will eventually be in service, replacing all existing sets on the Tōhoku Shinkansen including those used on the Hayate, Yamabiko, and Nasuno.

First set of pictures (2011.07.30):
Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/

At the Port of Sendai, Car 7 (right, with pantograph) and Car 8 (left):



Low-rider style due to pantograph and need for sufficient clearance underneath the overpasses and pedestrian bridges along the truck route.





Next day (2011.07.31):


Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/

GranClass car (Car 10)


Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/

More (2011.07.31):
Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/





Car 9:





No one better to trust with transporting a Ą500 million oversize load than Nittsū.


Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/
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Old August 19th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #929
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Does anyone have pictures of Mini Shinkasen train sets?
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Old August 20th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #930
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Here you are:
Series 400: http://shinkansenwotorou.com/newpage400.html
Series E3: http://shinkansenwotorou.com/newpageE3.html and http://shinkansenwotorou.com/page_thumb2.html
Series E6: http://shinkansenwotorou.com/newpage2008.html
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Old August 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #931
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Kiha 52 series donated to Philippines: Part 1

A few pictures of the transport of seven Kiha 52 series cars for donation to the Philippine National Railways (2011.08.03):
Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/









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Old August 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #932
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Kiha 52 series donated to Philippines: Part 2

Next set:
Source: http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/













Lots more pictures here:
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-520.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-524.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-521.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-522.html
http://denshawotorou.blog73.fc2.com/blog-entry-523.html
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Old August 29th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #933
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Does Japan even use Diesel engines anymore? It seems to me every tracks over there that are used are electrified.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #934
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About 50% to 60% of the total network is electrified.

Virtually all of the mainlines are electrified, and in the large metropolitan areas, it's extremely difficult to find any non-electrified track, which may give the impression that everywhere in the country is like that. However, there's a lot of small local / rural lines scattered throughout the country that aren't electrified, particularly in less developed regions like Hokkaidō and Shikoku. While there are some electrification projects (most recently, the Jōtō Freight Line in Ōsaka and the Sasshō Line in Sapporo come to mind), this situation probably won't change anytime soon.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:48 AM   #935
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Japan pitches Shinkansen to Australia at HSR seminar
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2011...258231000.html

Quote:
A seminar focused on high-speed rail was held in Australia, which is considering construction of a system, and representatives from the Japanese government in attendance pitched the safety and technological superiority of the Shinkansen.

The seminar, held in Sydney, was attended by approximately 70 people, including representatives from the Japanese and French governments, as well as Australian railway officials. Plans for a 1,700 km high-speed railway connecting Brisbane and Melbourne in eastern Australia are currently being considered, and the Australian government published a study report this month that included costs and travel times. Yamagoshi Toshihiro, director of the Railway International Projects Promotion Office of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), attended the seminar for Japan, pitching the safety of the Shinkansen, which successfully prevented any deaths and injuries during the Great East Japan Earthquake. Yamagoshi also expressed Japan’s desire to explain the technology behind the Shinkansen to the Australian government in the near future. Among the attendees, some said that the high-speed railway would have benefits for regional development, with several saying they were interested in Japan’s leading technology. In addition, attendees also demonstrated a keen interest in safety, asking questions regarding last month’s high-speed rail accident in China and whether or not Japanese technology was used. The high-speed railway plan is being spearheaded by The Greens, who are cooperating outside the Cabinet with The Labor Party, the governing party of Australia, and debate over the project is growing.
NHK news report (2011.08.30):


Source: Monet570608 on YouTube

The seminar is High Speed Rail World Australia 2011 being held in Sydney on 2011.08.30 and 2011.08.31, for which the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a gold sponsor.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:49 AM   #936
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MLIT to promote Shinkansen, conduct its own pre-feasibility study for Swedish HSR
http://www.kensetsunews.com/article....&class=pickups

Quote:
In regards to the plans for high-speed railways surfacing in Sweden, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will initiate a study in order to promote the selection of Shinkansen technology. In addition to collection of basic information, the MLIT will also produce general project proposals, aiming to compile its own pre-feasibility studies based on adoption of Shinkansen technology.

Sweden is considering construction of new high-speed lines on the main trunk lines on the Stockholm – Jönkoping – Göteborg corridor (approx. 450 km) and the Stockholm – Jönkoping – Malmö corridor (approx. 600 km). The project is still in the planning stages, and a feasibility study has yet to be put out to tender. In an effort to promote adoption of Japan’s Shinkansen technology, however, the MLIT will collect basic information and survey the details of the administrative structure and high-speed rail plan, the Swedish government’s issues of concern, and other data, evaluating the issues and possible solutions for adoption of a Shinkansen system. In order to streamline submission of a proposal based on Shinkansen technology in the event that the Swedish government puts out a request for feasibility studies, the MLIT also plans to produce a summary proposal assuming adoption of a Shinkansen system. The documents will be compiled before the end of FY2011.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:49 AM   #937
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MLIT to produce feasibility study for HSR in southern India
http://www.kensetsunews.com/article....&class=pickups

Quote:
In regards to the proposed high-speed railways being planned for southern India, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has selected a joint team of the Japan Railway Technical Service (JARTS) and Oriental Consultants to conduct surveys in order to produce Japan’s own feasibility study proposal to be submitted in the pre-feasibility study stage.

The planned high-speed railway lines are on the Hyderabad – Vijayawada – Chennai corridor (approx. 780 km) and the Chennai – Bengaluru – Ernakulam (approx. 800 km) corridor. A pre-feasibility study is currently being conducted, and the MLIT will produce a proposal assuming adoption of Japan’s Shinkansen technology for submission.
According to another article, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is on good terms with the Japanese government and Japanese rolling stock firms, may also tap experts from Japan to assist in studies for a 550 km high-speed line in Kerala state between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displaya...rnational&col=
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Old August 31st, 2011, 09:27 AM   #938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
About 50% to 60% of the total network is electrified.

Virtually all of the mainlines are electrified, and in the large metropolitan areas, it's extremely difficult to find any non-electrified track, which may give the impression that everywhere in the country is like that. However, there's a lot of small local / rural lines scattered throughout the country that aren't electrified, particularly in less developed regions like Hokkaidō and Shikoku. While there are some electrification projects (most recently, the Jōtō Freight Line in Ōsaka and the Sasshō Line in Sapporo come to mind), this situation probably won't change anytime soon.
Yea leave the cities and diesel trains aren't that hard to find.

I remember reading months or maybe even years ago about train battery technology or hybrid trains or something or other; I guess it's not as developed as they would hope it to be in order for wide scale implementation, especially on these rural, diesel lines?
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Old August 31st, 2011, 12:31 PM   #939
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
MLIT to promote Shinkansen, conduct its own pre-feasibility study for Swedish HSR
http://www.kensetsunews.com/article....&class=pickups
Yes, exactly what I wanted to see, maybe it will kick our politicians into actually doing something than just muttering about that it would be too expensive and instead spend loads of money on useless tax deductions to be sure to win the next election...
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Old August 31st, 2011, 07:37 PM   #940
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nouveau.ukiyo View Post
I remember reading months or maybe even years ago about train battery technology or hybrid trains or something or other; I guess it's not as developed as they would hope it to be in order for wide scale implementation, especially on these rural, diesel lines?
JR East already has hybrid trains in service on several lines. Right now, they're primarily used on tourism-oriented lines.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=806

They've also been testing a battery-powered train for some time now:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1058

JR West will also be developing its own battery-powered train:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=701
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