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Mitsubishi Electric receives order for Sao Paulo Metro electrical equipment

Tokyo, July 6, 2010 – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has received an order worth approximately four billion yen for electric equipment to be used in railcars operated by Brazil’s Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM), or Sao Paulo Metropolitan Train Company. The order was received from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A. (CAF), a Spanish railcar manufacturer. Deliveries will begin in January 2011, prior to the introduction of new railcars on CPTM’s Line 8 in April 2011.

As part of Brazil’s effort to upgrade railways and other public infrastructure leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the CPTM is introducing new trains on Line 8 to improve service quality and expand transportation capacity.

CAF will manufacture 36 eight-coach trains and Mitsubishi Electric will supply electric equipment for all 288 railcars of these trains. The equipment will include traction motors and propulsion-control systems with variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) inverters, with the two components also functioning as energy-saving regenerative braking systems.

“Mitsubishi Electric has already delivered electric equipment for approximately 400 railcars on CPTM’s Lines 7, 9 and 12. We have filled numerous orders for electric railcar equipment not only in Japan, but in many other countries as well,” said Takaaki Kukita, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s Public Utility Systems Overseas Marketing Division. “Like other railcar manufacturers, CAF selected Mitsubishi Electric for its broad experience, technology and high product quality.”

Mitsubishi Electric is continuing to strengthen its global business for railway transportation systems equipment, aiming to double current annual overseas sales to 230 billion yen by the fiscal year ending March 2016.

Mitsubishi Electric’s Electric Railcar Equipment Business
In addition to Itami Works and Nagasaki Works, the two mother factories in Japan, Mitsubishi Electric manufactures electric railcar equipment at several overseas sites for global markets:
  • Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. (Warrendale, Pennsylvania, U.S.A)
  • Mitsubishi Electric de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Tlalnepantla, Edo. Mex., Mexico)
  • Mitsubishi Electric Australia Pty. Ltd. (Rydalmere, N.S.W., Australia)
  • Zhuzhou Shiling Transportation Equipment Company Limited (Zhuzhou, Hunan Province, China)

About Mitsubishi Electric
With over 85 years of experience in providing reliable, high-quality products to both corporate clients and general consumers all over the world, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) is a recognized world leader in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. The company recorded consolidated group sales of 3,353.2 billion yen (US$ 36.1 billion*) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. For more information visit
*At an exchange rate of 93 yen to the US dollar, the rate given by the Tokyo Foreign Exchange Market on March 31, 2010

14,835 Posts
Mitsubishi Electric receives order for Rio de Janeiro Metro electrical equipment

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has received an approx. ¥3.5 billion order from Chinese rolling stock manufacturer Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. to supply railcar electrical equipment for the Rio de Janeiro Metro in Brazil.

Order details
In order to increase transport capacity in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, the Rio de Janeiro Metro in Brazil is planning to increase fleet size for the existing Line 1 and Line 2 and the future Line 1A extension. Chinese rolling stock manufacturer Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. will construct 114 cars (19 trains in six-car formations) to supplement the fleet, and Mitsubishi Electric has received an order to supply all electrical equipment for the supplemental cars to be manufactured by Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. The components selected include traction motors, propulsion-control systems, auxiliary power equipment, train information equipment, as well as regenerative braking systems that reduce environmental load by reusing energy generated during the braking process, and are slated to be delivered starting from July 2011 until March 2012.

Mitsubishi Electric has a portfolio of experience supplying railcar electrical equipment both within Japan and overseas, and has received high praise for this experience, our technological expertise, and the quality of our products from the end user Rio de Janeiro Metro, from rolling stock manufacturer Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd., and from our clients' engineering consultants.

Mitsubishi Electric will further strengthen marketing efforts for our railway electrical equipment and continue to expand our railcar electrical equipment business globally, including in Brazil, aiming to increase revenues in our railway business both domestically and overseas by 50 percent to ¥230 billion by 2015, by doubling the scale of our current foreign railcar electrical equipment business.

  • Client: Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd.
  • Order size: Electrical equipment for 114 subway cars (19 trains in six-car formations)
  • Order inventory: Railcar electrical equipment (traction motors, propulsion-control systems, auxiliary electrical equipment, train information equipment, regenerative braking systems, etc.)
  • Contract value: ¥3.5 billion
  • Delivery: Gradual delivery from July 2011 to March 2012
  • Delivery terms: CIF Port of Dalian (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)
Rio de Janeiro Metro
  • Operating company: Metrô Rio, Concessão Metroviária Rio de Janeiro S.A.
  • Scheduled introduction to revenue service lines: 2012
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Distance and stations: Approx. 40 km, 33 stations (portions currently under construction)

14,835 Posts
Mitsubishi Electric receives order for linear motor railcar equipment for Guangzhou Metro Line 6

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has received an order worth a total of approx. ¥2.7 billion from CSR Corporation Limited for electrical equipment to be used on linear motor railcars (non-levitation) for Guangzhou Metro Line 6.

Order Details
Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, and infrastructure improvements are underway. The Guangzhou Metro, which opened in 1997, has already opened five lines, and is scheduled to open all 16 lines by 2020.

The electrical equipment to be used in this latest order include variable voltage variable frequency (VVVF) inverter propulsion control devices, linear induction motors, and train information control equipment. The train information control equipment will be manufactured at our Itami Works facility, while the remaining equipment will be manufactured at Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric Co., Ltd. and jointly at Mitsubishi and Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric’s joint venture Zhuzhou Shiling Transportation Equipment Co., Ltd. Delivery is scheduled to begin in May 2011.

In 2005, Mitsubishi provided railcar electrical equipment for approx. 300 cars on the currently operating Guangzhou Metro Line 4 and Line 5—China’s first linear motor railcars (non-levitation)—and this latest order was a result of this achievement, as well as Mitsubishi’s technology, product quality, and experience in supplying equipment for over 20,000 railcars outside of Japan.

So far, Mitsubishi Electric has supplied railcar electrical equipment to clients both within Japan and overseas. In the Chinese urban transport market, we have received orders for railcar electrical equipment for over 1,700 cars, including Line 2, Line 8, and the Changping Line on the Beijing Subway; Tianjin Metro Lines 1, 2, and 3; Guangzhou Metro Lines 4 and 5; and Shenyang Metro Line 1. Beginning with the urban transport market in China, Mitsubishi Electric will now begin to expand its railcar electrical equipment business worldwide, aiming to double the scale of our FY2008 production of train electrical equipment for foreign markets by 2015. We will continue to further strengthen sales of our train electrical equipment with the goal of achieving ¥230 billion in sales for our railway business both in the domestic and foreign markets—an approx. 50 percent increase over FY2008.

  • Client: CSR Corporation Limited
  • Order size: Electrical equipment for 196 railcars (49 four-car trains)
  • Order inventory: Railcar electrical equipment (VVVF inverter propulsion control equipment, auxiliary power supply equipment, linear induction motors, train information control equipment, etc.)
  • Contract value: Approx. ¥2.7 billion
  • Delivery: Starting in May 2011
Guangzhou Metro Line 6 details
  • Operating company: Guangzhou Metro Corporation
  • Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  • Expected start of operation: December 2012
  • Distance and stations: Approx. 42 km and 32 stations

14,835 Posts
Mitsubishi Electric receives order for London Underground's first air conditioning units

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has begun supplying train air conditioning units for the London Underground, and revenue service of the trains featuring Mitsubishi's equipment has already begun. This is the first time air conditioning has been introduced onto the London Underground, which opened in 1863.

The London Underground is the world's oldest subway, opening in 1863, and currently operates 11 lines covering approx. 400 km. Up until now, trains on the London Underground have not been equipped with air conditioning units, but with recent heat waves, introduction of air conditioning units is advancing together with overhauls to trains first supplied in the 1960s, and in August, the first eight cars (one train) entered service.

Mitsubishi Electric's experience and quality in supplying clients in countries across the globe, as well as our maintenance structure and technological expertise, contributed to the selection of our train air conditioning units in an order from Canadian rolling stock manufacturer Bombardier. The scale of the order calls for 1,402 air conditioning units for passenger railcars and 380 air conditioning units for train operators' cabs, with a total contract value of ¥3.3 billion and maintenance included until 2018. Now, we will gradually supply the units through to 2015, and are looking to secure an optional maintenance contract extension until 2033.

In June of this year, Mitsubishi Electric was the first domestic manufacturer in the field of railcar air conditioning systems to obtain certification under the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) and be listed in the Union of the European Railway Industries (UNIFE), and we are looking to expand our railcar air conditioning business globally, particularly in Europe, where recent effects of global warming are increasing demand for railcar air conditioning units. With this order as a key milestone, we will strengthen marketing of our railcar air conditioning systems in the European market.

Order details
  • Lines in service:
    • Service started: Metropolitan line
    • Slated for introduction: Circle line, District line, Hammersmith & City line
  • Customer: Bombardier Inc.
  • Order size: Railcar air conditioning units: 1,402 for passenger railcars (for 1,402 cars), 308 for train operators' cabs
  • Specified air conditioning units:
    • Passenger railcars: Cooling capacity 31 kW, heating capacity 21 kW
    • Train operators' cabs: Cooling capacity 6 kW, heating capacity 4.4 kW
  • Contract value: Approx. ¥3.3 billion (includes maintenance to 2018)
  • Supply timeline: Gradual delivery until May 2015
  • Maintenance: Air conditioning unit maintenance and parts replacement until 2018 (optional contract extension to 2033)


14,835 Posts
Mitsubishi Electric secures IRIS certification

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has become the first domestic company in the field of railway vehicle air conditioning systems to obtain International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) certification.

Background behind certification
With recent growing awareness of the environment, railways are increasingly becoming an important means of transporting people and goods with less environmental impacts. High-speed railway construction projects are proceeding across the globe, and even included as part of constructing the social infrastructure in developing countries, and it's expected that demand in overseas markets will grow.

The International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) was established by the Union of the European Railway Industries (UNIFE) in 2006 and is an international standard devoted to the railway industry. Based on the international quality standard ISO 9001, IRIS is an international standard that establishes business management system requirements for railway industry suppliers, and IRIS certification is being endorsed as a contract requirement for major European railcar manufacturers.

In order to expand our railway business globally, Mitsubishi Electric received IRIS certification from public certification body BSI Group Japan, becoming the first domestic manufacturer in the field of railcar air conditioning systems to earn IRIS certification.

Mitsubishi Electric is now listed as an IRIS-certified corporation by UNIFE, and it's expected that sales will accelerate due to an improved presence in the European railway business.

In addition to doubling the scope of revenues in our foreign railcar electrical equipment business by 2015, Mitsubishi Electric is aiming to increase total revenues across our entire railway business domestically and overseas by approx. 50 percent over current levels to ¥230 billion. With the latest IRIS certification as a key milestone, we will strengthen our marketing of railcar air conditioning systems in the European market.

Past orders for railcar air conditioning systems in Europe
Country           Lines or Railway Company             Design              Cars     Delivery Period
Greece            Athens Metro                         Ceiling-mounted      126     2003/06 to 2003/11
United Kingdom    London Underground                   Ceiling-mounted    1,402     2008/03 to ...
Turkey            Istanbul Metro                       Ceiling-mounted       80     2008/06 to 2009/04
Italy             NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori)    Ceiling-mounted      275     2009/08 to ...

14,835 Posts
Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyō awarded contract for 160 Chicago Metra cars

September 22, 2010, New York, NY---Sumitomo Corporation of America in conjunction with its car builder partner Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. were awarded the contract to supply 160 bi-level electric passenger rail cars to Metra, the Northeast Illinois commuter rail system based in Chicago.

The cars for the contract will be similar to the 26 Gallery-Type bi-level electric railcars that were delivered in year 2005-2006. The cars will accommodate up to 140 passengers per car and replace existing old fleets which have been used by Metra since 1970s. About half of the new cars will be equipped with bathrooms which will ensure a more comfortable ride for passengers.

The contract price will be $560 million. Delivery is scheduled from the end of 2012 through the middle of 2015. During execution of past Metra contracts, Sumitomo Corporation of America and Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. have consistently met Buy America requirements and used contents and the workforce of Illinois, thereby supporting the creation of local area oriented works. For this contract, Sumitomo Corporation of America and Nippon Sharyo, Ltd. are committed to a continued enhancement of such contribution to local employment.

The Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo team have already successfully delivered around 900 passenger cars in the US market since 1980s. This includes 479 Gallery Type bi-level passenger cars and 26 Gallery Type bi-level electrical passenger cars delivered to Metra and all rolling stock used by Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (85 cars). This means the Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo team has supplied the majority of commuter rail cars departing and arriving in Chicago.

Sumitomo has 50 years of contract management experience in bringing transportation systems to life. As a prime contractor, the company has developed, managed and delivered commuter rail transit systems for Chicago's Metra, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the Maryland Department of Transportation, California's CALTRANS Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the Los Angeles County MTA, the Virginia Railway Express, and has supplied Automated People Mover (APM) systems for the Washington Dulles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Miami International Airport’s new North Terminal, and is working on delivering a second APM system for the Airport’s MIA Mover.

Sumitomo’s global network has been involved in building various types of transit systems around the world, including light rail systems in Manila, Philippines, and APM systems at Hong Kong’s new airport at Chek Lap Kok, and other systems in Japan.

About Nippon Sharyo
Nippon Sharyo, founded in 1896, has manufactured railroad vehicles for more than 100 years and has annual sales of over $1.1 billion. A world leader in the manufacturing of the Gallery car, the company also owns the largest market share of Japanese “Shinkansen” bullet train sets.

About Sumitomo Corporation of America
Established in 1952, and headquartered in New York City, SCOA operates offices in 10 American cities. SCOA is the largest wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the world's leading traders of goods and services. As an integrated business enterprise, the firm has emerged as a major organizer of multinational projects, an expediter of ideas, an important international investor and financier, and a powerful force for distribution of products and global communications through a network of offices worldwide. For more information visit

14,835 Posts
Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyō offer low bid in San Francisco railcar order

A Japanese train manufacturer is by far the lowest bidder to provide trains for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system.

Sumitomo Corp. of America, which builds cars in partnership with Nippon Sharyo Inc., submitted a proposal of $82.7 million to provide nine three-car trains.

The second-lowest proposal was submitted by Germany-based Siemens, which has a plant in Sacramento, at $104.2 million.

The cars specifications call for seating of 78 passengers per car, storage for 10 to 12 bicycles, overhead storage, permanent and folding tables, reading lights, Wi-Fi and a bathroom in one car and a snack bar in the other.

SMART's staff released the proposal prices on Wednesday, but details of each bid are being withheld pending detailed staff review.

State policies allow SMART to combine the price and technical proposals and then negotiate with the company it believes will offer the best train. Details of the winning bid will be disclosed when the agency makes a final recommendation, scheduled for December.

SMART had estimated that it would spend $80 million to $90 million for nine two-car trains, with a third middle car added later.

That could mean that SMART's initial order could be a third less than the price proposal by Sumitomo, which would be good news for the cash-strapped transit system.

SMART is facing a short-fall in tax revenue because of the recession, which hurts its ability to issue bonds to build the line.

The transit district is now reviewing all construction costs, which had been estimated to be $600 million.

The latest estimate determined that the district was $155 million short of being able to build and open the entire 70-mile line, including a bike and pedestrian path, by the 2014 goal, raising the possibility of staging construction. Final figures are due in November.

Other proposals for cars were submitted by CAF USA Inc. of Spain, $136.7 million; Stadler Rail AG of Switzerland, $124 million, and U.S. Railcar of Columbus, Ohio, $131.5 million. German manufacturer Siemens submitted two proposals, $104.6 million and $121.2 million.

The SMART trains will run in pairs on the system, with 14 stations between Cloverdale and Larkspur, at speeds of 79 mph.

SMART received proposals for two types of vehicles. One would be a heavier car that meets Federal Railroad Administration crash standards and the other a lighter European style car using crash-management technology.

The federal government also has stringent emissions standards and buy America requirements that specify how much of the train must be built in the United States.

The Sumitomo-Nippon Sharyo car is believed to be the heavier car, which is currently not being built.

Nippon Sharyo was one of three manufacturers which made a presentation to SMART directors in June 2009, submitting an artist's concept for a sleek train.

The company now makes train cars for Caltrain on the San Francisco Peninsula, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, Virginia Railway Express, Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp., MARC and MTA in Maryland and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

An artist's concept of a rail car to be built by the Sumitomo-Nippon Sharyo company was submitted to SMART directors in 2009. (Sumitomo Corp. of America/Nippon Sharyo Inc.)

14,835 Posts
Nippon Sharyo will expand its US railcar business

Arlington Heights, Illinois (Wednesday, October 20, 2010) – On October 20th, Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc. announced its decision to expand operations in the US, including the establishment of its own passenger railcar production facility in the City of Rochelle, Illinois.

The new strategy is focusing on two elements, one to increase competiveness in the expanding passenger railcar market in the United States, and the other to respond to the increased desires for “localization” of railcar assembly.

The new production facility is also expected to reduce total production costs by reducing transportation costs and by mitigating the risks of exchange rate fluctuations. Having a new production facility in the US also offers greater flexibility for production planning and delivery schedules while increasing the “local content” for Illinois and providing job opportunities in the Region.

The new facility will also enhance Nippon Sharyo’s consistent “on-time, on-budget” contract performance accomplishment on every United States contract over the past 30 years.

Establishing New Production Facility in the USA
Most passenger railcar procurement contracts in the United States are supported by Federal Transit Administration funding, which requires compliance to “Buy America” rules. Even when the financing is not provided by the Federal Transit Administration, the State or other local municipalities have their own “Buy America” or other local content requirements.

Nippon Sharyo has delivered an aggregate of 886 passenger railcars to the US market since early 80’s, and has complied with “Buy America” and local content requirements without exception by utilizing US suppliers and conducting final assembly in the US.

Nippon Sharyo decided to enhance its presence in the United States by building its own new production facility in Rochelle, Illinois. This is in response to the Obama Administration's initiative in support of passenger rail investments to create more jobs in the United States.

After investigating more than 50 candidate sites in the Midwest, Rochelle, Illinois was selected as an ideal location for new facility for several reasons. The City and the State offered an attractive incentive and support plans, which included more than ten million dollars of direct investment to improve the infrastructure for the new facility. Rochelle’s proximity to two mainline railroads in the “Chicago Hub” railroad network, and the friendly community environment were also factors in choosing this location.

Nippon Sharyo’s aggregate investment is expected to be around $35 million. This investment will create approximately 250 new jobs by end of 2013. The facility will be designed to accommodate an annual production of 120 new passenger cars of all types. The initial market will be for suburban commuter type vehicles and inter-city passenger cars, which will fully comply with various safety regulations of Federal Railroad Administration for operation on the general railway system.

At the ground breaking ceremony on October 20th in Rochelle, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and many other officials from the State and the Region celebrated the start of this new era in the history of passenger railcar manufacturing in Illinois.

Re-organization of Nippon Sharyo USA
Nippon Sharyo’s U.S. subsidiary “Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., Inc. “will be reorganized, and two new entities will be established under current operation. One is Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing, LLC as the group’s manufacturing arm, which will own the new production facility and will be responsible for overall production related activities including project administration, procurement, manufacturing, quality control and warranty service. And second entity is Nippon Sharyo Engineering & Marketing, LLC, which will be responsible for strategic planning, marketing activities, engineering, and general customer relations including support for bid preparation. Highly skilled engineers and marketing professionals will be added for this entity.

Outline of new facility
Location: Rochelle, Illinois
Expected start of operation: 3rd quarter 2012
Production capacity: 120 passenger cars annually
Expected number of jobs created: 120 by the end of 2012, additional 130 by end of 2013
Features: The facility and production system is based on ‘TACT Moving System’ which Nippon Sharyo uses in Japan. The facility is ideally located for rail, road and international air access, such as two main rail lines, interstate highways, and international airport.
Total investment: Approx. $35,000,000
Initial target market:
(From left to right) Gallery-type EMU, regional high-speed trains, and suburban DMU

New facility:


14,835 Posts
Foreign trainees hope to bring Japan's railway expertise back home

Two foreign trainees who have come to Akita to learn about Japan's railway operations and technology paid a courtesy visit to their new employer, the Akita Branch Office of JR East.

The two trainees are Nguyen Phan Hong (31) from Vietnam Railways and Bat-Erdene Naranbat (33) from Mongolian Railways. Both are responsible for rolling stock maintenance.

Kawano Kōichi, president of the Akita Branch Office, greeted them, saying, "We have a limited time together, but I hope we can make this a valuable training experience that will help you meet your goals." Nguyen confided, "I hope to focus my studies on the specializations and bring the knowledge back to my country." Bat-Erdene said, "I hope to learn about wheel inspection."

The training period lasts until October 29. The two trainees are scheduled to learn about management of rolling stock parts and engine inspections at Akita General Rolling Stock Center in Akita City.

14,835 Posts
Tōshiba joins InnoTrans for the first time

TOKYO—Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that it will showcase its environmentally conscious products and technologies for transportation system as a first-time exhibitor at InnoTrans 2010, the world's leading international trade fair for transport technology. InnoTrans 2010 will be held in Messe Berlin in Berlin from September 21 to 24 2010 and Toshiba will be exhibiting in Hall 18/ Stand 101. Products and systems on display will include a full size model of the main converter of a prototype hybrid locomotive and a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM).

Toshiba has contributed know-how and technologies to the rail industry for 111 years, and is now expanding its transportation system business in the global market. The company chose InnoTrans 2010 as a venue to showcase its advanced technologies and environmentally conscious products, and to demonstrate its comprehensive capabilities in electrical systems and its history of locomotive deliveries.

This exhibition will support Toshiba's moves to strengthen its transportation system business in the global market and to increase the ratio of sales outside Japan from 40% in fiscal year 2009 to 70% in fiscal year 2015.

Major Exhibits

1. Full size model of main converter for prototype hybrid locomotive
Toshiba will showcase a full size model of the main converter that controls the drive for the HD300-901 locomotive. The locomotive is a HD300 class prototype of a new Hybrid Shunting Diesel Locomotive for which Toshiba has completed development and production, in collaboration with Japan Freight Railway. The locomotive has a cooperative power control system that receives power from a diesel engine generator and a lithium-ion battery. The locomotive's environmentally conscious design secures significant performance improvements over existing shunting locomotives, including notable reductions in fuel consumption, CO2 and exhaust gas emissions and noise.

2. Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM)
The Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) uses a permanent magnet for the rotor (stator) and is lighter and more efficient than a conventional induction motor propulsion system. Toshiba developed the motor for application in commuter trains and has achieved outstanding results, including a 20% reduction in energy consumption in both accelerating and braking . PMSM have already been introduced in the HD300-901 prototype hybrid locomotive and are now being introduced to trains operating on Tokyo Metro's Marunouchi Line. They will be introduced to Tokyo Metro's Chiyoda Line in the future. Toshiba is now developing a High Power PMSM for main line locomotive applications and PMSM for high-speed trains, as well as a 4-in-1 inverter unit that will contribute to a more compact PMSM propulsion inverter.

3. World Supply Record
Toshiba has supplied 1,500 sets of on-board systems for electric locomotives and diesel-electric locomotives that apply environmentally conscious technology, such as IGBT drive systems, to customers in Japan, China, South Africa, Malaysia and elsewhere. Key orders include:
  • 19E class electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail, South Africa
  • HD300 class hybrid locomotive for Japan Freight Railway Company, Japan
  • EH500 AC/DC dual voltage electric locomotives for Japan Freight Railway Company

14,835 Posts
Hitachi participates in InnoTrans 2010

Hitachi is pleased to announce its participation in InnoTrans 2010, which will be held from September 21 to 24 at Messe Berlin. The key message is "Experience Hitachi working for you", as the railway system integrator that has succeeded in introducing a number of commuter and high-speed trains on time. One of the examples includes the Class 395 trains, the fastest train service in the United Kingdom.

Main features of the exhibition include the touch-screen panels which introduce our latest technologies and a spacious booth to welcome our guests for drinks and snacks. Hitachi's staff will be stationed in Hall 1.2, Stand 110 to talk to you and answer any of your questions.

The full list of the Japanese delegation at InnoTrans:

East Japan Railway Company (JR東日本)
Fuji Electric Systems Co., Ltd. (富士電気)
Furukawa Electric (古河電工)
Hitachi Appliances, Inc. (日立アプライアンス)
Hitachi Ltd. (日立)
Japan Overseas Rolling Stock Association (日本鉄道車両輸出組合)
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (川崎重工業)
The Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd. (近畿車輛)
Kyosan Electric Mfg. Co., Ltd. (京三電機)
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (三菱電機)
Mitsui & Co. Plant Systems Ltd. (三井物産プラントシステム)
Nabtesco Corporation (ナブテスコ)
The Nippon Signal Co., Ltd. (日本信号)
Oiles Cooperation (オイレス)
Railway Technical Research Institute (鉄道総合技術研究所)
Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd, (積水化学)
Sumitomo Electric Group (住友電気)
Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. (住友金属工業)
Taisei Techno Co. Ltd. (タイセイテクノ)
Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. (東京メトロ)
Tokyu Car Corporation (東急車輛製造)
Toshiba Corporation (東芝)
Toyo Denki Seizo K.K. (東洋電機)
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. (トーヨータイヤ)
Yashima & Co., Ltd. (八洲電機)

14,835 Posts
Kagoshima City Tram claims "world's first mowing train"

On the Kagoshima City Tram, which features grass laid inside tram right-of-way, "mowing trains" claimed to be the first of their kind in the world are in operation. A new duty has been awarded to retired trams that had been toiling away for over half a century. Two "old-timer" trams are behind the scenes, supporting this greenery effort that brings richness to a city that is often blanketed by ash from nearby Sakurajima.

October 10, 00:30 in the morning, near Kajiyachō in central Kagoshima City. A tram mounted with a headlight moves along at about five kilometers an hour. The words "Currently Mowing" glisten in the tram's destination box.

This is the so-called "mowing train." A yellow, box-shaped grass mower mounted on bogies is being pulled by another car. Moving closer to the train, one can smell the scent of freshly-cut grass.

The mower features four spiral cutting blades that cut down the grass as they rotate. The cut grass is then sucked up by hose into a storage tank. "Just think of it as a giant vacuum," says rolling stock chief Kuninaga Masahiro of the city's Tram Operations Section. After the mowing train has passed, the grass is cut down to about a three-centimeter height.

The mowing train debuted May 27 and consists of reconstructed trams 512 and 513, which had been in service carrying passengers for over 50 years. Both where scheduled to be decommissioned at the end of FY2008, but were later reconfigured after workers began asking if there wasn't another use for them.

The mowing unit is mounted on top of bogies from the former tram 513, and was manufactured by Ōsaka Sharyō Kōgyō (HQ: Ōsaka City), which manufactures and modifies railway vehicles and buses.

The unit pulling the mower is the former tram 512, largely in an untouched state. Normally, the car is used as a watering train, providing water to the grass using a nozzle mounted on the front, drawing from a stainless steel water tank inside the tram. The tram also features a jet nozzle for removing ash from Sakurajima that has blanketed the track.

Up until now, watering and mowing had been contracted out to private firms, and was carried out by hand. Maemura Kakuji, chief of the city's Parks and Greening Section, says, "The work efficiency is now vastly improved."

"If we were to liken this to people, I guess it would be reemployment," says Kuninaga, who has spent many of his years working alongside the two trams. "Now, they have a much different duty from when they used to carry passengers, but they're real workhorses and still have a long life ahead."

Mowing is undertaken about four times in the summer and three times in the autumn and afterwards, paying close attention to the growth of the grass. The work is carried out by four employees, in a few-hours battle that lasts from the last service in the evening to the first service the next morning. On the sections where greening has been completed (total length of 5 km), doing a complete mowing run takes as long as three days. In the beginning, the work was hectic and would take them all the way until right before the start of service in the morning, but now the workers have become accustomed.

The mowing train is expected to make its next appearance in October. The two trams are undergoing maintenance and awaiting the next signal for departure.


Kagoshima City Tram's Trackway Greening Program
With the goals of easing the heat island phenomenon, reducing noise, and contributing to urban aesthetics, Kagoshima City Tram began greening its tram rights-of-way in FY2006, the first such program in Japan. The program targets a total of approx. 8.9 km of track (excluding intersections), and installation work is scheduled to be completed in late FY2012. Similar greening efforts have been underway at five other locations in Japan outside of Kagoshima City on a trial basis, but all encompass only short sections of track, and the Kagoshima City Tram is the only system to move towards a permanent installation.
Scenes of Kagoshima's trams, with plenty of running on the landscaped sections:

Source: ohakiri on YouTube

Watering tram. This is also one half of the "mowing train."

Source: nanpu6 on YouTube

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Kumamoto City to rename six tram stops in preparation for Shinkansen opening

On October 6, Kumamoto City announced the new names for stops on the city's tram network. In preparation for the opening of the full length of the Kyūshū Shinkansen's Kagoshima route in March of next year, the project is part of an effort to make the tram system easy-to-use for visitors. The changes will take effect on March 1 of next year.

Six tram stops will be receiving name changes, partly based on suggestions from citizens received during the public comment period in August. Passengers commented that some stops ending in "mae" (meaning "directly outside" or "adjacent to") were actually far away from destinations, and that destinations such as buildings were difficult to locate. At Kumamoto-jō-mae ("Kumamoto Castle") in Hanabatachō, for example, some visitors got lost because buildings obstructed the castle from their view. As a result, "Kumamoto-jō" was added to the name of the Shiyakusho-mae stop, the adjacent stop approx. 300 m northeast of Kumamoto-jō-mae.

At Kuwamizubashi, completion of a bypass roadway removed any vestiges of the former bridge, converting it into a culvert. As a result, the city removed "bashi" ("bridge") from the name, and also added "Shimin Byōin-mae" ("City Hospital"), given that many people use the Kumamoto City Hospital nearby. At Suizenji-eki-dōri ("Suizenji Station Street", the stop is now directly connected to nearby JR Shin-Suizenji Station as part of a transport node improvement project, so the name will be changed to Shin-Suizenji-eki-dōri.

In addition, the city also reconsidered route displays. The current Line 2 bound for Kumamoto-eki-mae ("Kumamoto Station") and Tasakibashi will be renumbered as Line A, while the current Line 3 bound for Kami-Kumamoto-eki-mae ("Kami-Kumamoto Station") will be renumbered as Line B. Line 1, which connected Suidōchō and the area near Kokaimachi, was abandoned, and the number is no longer in use. After members of the public said the numbering system was confusing, the lines will be renumbered.

For ease of understanding, the two lines will use different colors—red for Line A and blue for Line B. In addition, each of the tram stops will be given a number, with Line A starting from Tasakibashi (Station 1) to Kengunmachi (Station 26) and Line B starting from Kami-Kumamoto-eki-mae (Station B1) to Nishi-Karashimachō (Station B9).

In preparation for the day the changes take effect, the city will now begin preparations for designing the name boards at each of the tram stops.
I didn't realize until now, but apparently Kumamoto City borrowed from Kagoshima City's experience and is now implementing trackway greening on their tram system as well:


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nimoca to expand into Ōita City and Beppu City

  • IC farecard nimoca, operated by nimoca Co., Ltd., will be accepted on regular fixed-route buses in the Ōita-Beppu metropolitan area.
  • In the Ōita-Beppu metropolitan area, the new nimoca system—to be primarily operated by Ōita IC Card Development (HQ: Ōita CIty, Ōita Prefecture; Representative Director: Yukishige Kōji)—will be nicknamed "Mejiron nimoca." In addition, with the start of service, we will begin special Ōita-only design cards. The cute design combines nimoca mascot Ferret with Mejiron, the mascot character widely loved as Ōita Prefecture's cheering squad.
  • Starting December of this year, Ōita Kōtsū Co., Ltd. and Ōita Bus Co. will introduce the system on approx. 250 fixed-route buses operated by the two companies in and around Ōita City. By FY2011, Kamenoi Bus Co., Ltd. will join them, expanding the system to approx. 440 buses across all three companies.
  • With the upcoming rollout, the cards will be accepted in the existing nimoca coverage area, interoperable coverage areas (JR Kyūshū's SUGOCA, Fukuoka City Subway's Hayakaken, and JR East's Suica coverage areas), and now regular fixed-route buses in the Ōita-Beppu metropolitan area, greatly increasing convenience for passengers.
  • At nimoca, we will continue to expand coverage area, not only encouraging use of public transit, but also expanding acceptance at retail shops, with the aim of becoming a treasured asset for our customers everywhere.
Regarding the introduction of nimoca in the Ōita-Beppu metropolitan area
Start of service: December 2010 (scheduled; a specific date will be announced in November of this year)
Accepting bus lines: Lines within and outside Ōita City (only some lines). By FY2011, routes in Beppu City and Saiki City will also begin accepting the card.
Accepting fleet: Approx. 250 fixed-route buses operated by Ōita Kōtsū Co., Ltd. and Ōita Bus Co. By FY2011, approx. 440 total fixed-route buses (including those operated by Kamenoi Bus Co., Ltd.) will accept the card.
Service details:
  1. Payment of bus fares using money charged onto a nimoca card.
  2. Accumulation of points with use of a nimoca card.
  3. Use as a payment method at nimoca-affiliated stores.
(Cards may also be used at stores affiliated with interoperable card systems)
Original card: Mejiron nimoca
(After a public naming competition held in April of this year, we have selected Ōita's "cheer bird" Mejiron, together with the nimoca mascot character, Ferret.


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Messaging system for guardians using IC farecard technology proves popular in Fukuoka

Popularity is growing for a service using the Fukuoka City Subway's IC card Hayakaken that sends emails to guardians notifying them when their children have arrived at or departed from school. When the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau expanded card reader unit installations to all subway stations and public facilities, the number of users increased steadily by approx. 80 in the second semester. The Bureau will now work to increase the number of readers in schools.

After touching a farecard to one of the reader units installed at subway ticketing entrances and entrances to schools, an email is automatically sent to the specified mobile phone or personal computer provided when registering for the program. The email contains the time and a message saying, "--- has passed through --- Station."

After the debut of Hayakaken in March of last year, a trial program was launched for students at the Fukuoka University of Education's Fukuoka Primary School (Chūō Ward) and Hakozaki Elementary School (Higashi Ward). A total of 511 people used the program, and 80 percent of guardians favorably evaluated the service. Users requested that reader units also be installed at extracurricular learning facilities and locations such as pools and libraries which children often frequent.

At the beginning, a total of only six units were installed, at both schools and at Tōjinmachi Station on the Fukuoka City Subway, but now a total of 80 units have been installed, at all 35 stations on the subway, four elementary schools, public pools in each of the city's wards, and the Fukuoka City Public Library (Sawara Ward). Over 780 people are registered with the program. Currently, the service is free, but there are plans to begin collecting a ¥300 monthly fee.

According to the Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau, services that use IC cards to send messages notifying guardians of childrens' activities are in use on private railways in the Greater Tōkyō area and other places, but it is rare for a transport operator and schools to co-operate in such a service. Spokespersons for the Bureau say, "We want to expand the number of participating schools as much as possible and make this an established service."


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DBJ forecasts Hakata Station City will generate annual sales of ¥92.7 billion

On September 13, the Kyūshū Branch of the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) released a revised financial analysis that pegs annual sales generated by the new Hakata Station tenant building scheduled to open in March of next year at ¥92.7 billion. In an analysis conducted in November of last year, the figure was approx. ¥130.0 billion, but the calculations were rerun using the most recent data from the Commerce Statistics.

The analysis defines the attraction zone as 30 km in all four directions, encompassing the station tenant building and the Tenjin area, and assumes that there is no change in total sales at retail facilities within the zone before or after the openeing of the station tenant building. Based on this, the bank forecasted sales generated by the station tenant building and projected the possible effects on the surrounding area using special formulas.

The reasons behind the differences with the last estimate have to do with revising down the sales floor area of the new Hakata Station tenant building—which will be home to Hakata Hankyū, Tōkyū Hands, and other shops—from 100,000 sq m to 85,000 sq m and incorporating the impact of the Fukuoka PARCO that opened in the Tenjin area. Both factors helped push down sales at the station tenant building.

Meanwhile, the previous estimate of a ¥30.1 billion drop in total sales in the Tenjin area were revised to only a ¥18.0 billion drop after considering the opening of Fukuoka PARCO.

The DBJ's Kyūshū Branch says, "The forecasted sales of the station tenant building dropped, but there's no denying that its opening will have an outstanding impact on commerce in Fukuoka's urban area," and points out that if shoppers from neighboring cities such as Kita-Kyūshū increase, the station tenant building may actually beat the sales forecasts.

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Movement on proposal for new section of track on Hiroshima Electric Railway near JR Hiroshima Station

The proposed plan to connect Hiroshima Electric Railway's (Hiroden) Hiroshima Station and Inarimachi tram stops via a straight-line route, which had been effectively shelved after the proposal was first made public in 1997, has sprung back to life. Hiroden president Ochi Hidenobu (53), who assumed his position in June, heralds the plan as his most critical concern, and in August, Hiroshima City established an investigative commission composed of experts. With travel time to central Hiroshima City expected to decrease and traffic congestion on surrounding roadways expected to improve, eyes are glued on the progress of the project.

The current route is as it was when this route first opened for revenue service in 1912, and trains leaving from Hiroshima Station tram stop make a large detour to the east to cross via Kōjinbashi Bridge. As four tram lines travel on this route and traffic signal density is high, the schedule is highly susceptible to disruptions, consequently also contributing to traffic congestion on narrow roadways.

In the Line Improvements Plan, tracks would be laid on Ekimae-dōri reducing the current approx. 700 m distance on this section by about 200 m. An additional platform would be added to the current platforms located at the station plaza, bringing the total number to four and streamlining tram ingress and egress.

In light of the proposal, Hiroshima City drafted a basic plan for public transport improvements in 1999, including redevelopment outside the station, but the plan was effectively put on hold due to financial difficulties. Track replacement in the station plaza area, which includes land owned by the city and by JR West, became difficult, and Hiroden's proposal was eventually shelved as well.

Hiroden president Ochi, who hails from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), points out, "Major cities including Sapporo and Fukuoka have connected their terminal stations and the central core of the city by subways and other means in only a few minutes. The current situation is one factor behind the lack of vitality in the urbanized districts."

With progress on redevelopment in the area surrounding the station, including the construction of Mazda Stadium, the time has come to reevaluate public transportation, and the city included ¥5.45 million in its FY2010 original budget for investigation into improvements for the station plaza. In the investigative commission, members will discuss the extent of traffic congestion, construction methods including conversion to subway, ways to obtain universal public support, and other issues. Based on the findings submitted by the commission, the city and JR will finalize a plaza improvements plan by the end of the fiscal year and consider financing.

Hiroden president Ochi confides, "I hope we can begin operations on the new route in 2016 or 2017." One female office worker (29) from Higashi Ward, Hiroshima City says, "Even if just shopping, getting to the central districts takes time, so most of the time I just take my car out to a mall in the suburbs. I want them to make the public transport more convenient."

If there's one place in Japan where trams have really survived as the primary public transport mode, it's Hiroshima. Lots of vehicles, old and new, many secondhand from other cities, in all sorts of different configurations from single-car to three-section and five-section articulated units.

Hiroshima tram scenes outside JR Hiroshima Station:

Source: LUXE2008 on YouTube

At Hiroshima Port tram stop.

Source: LUXE2008 on YouTube

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JR Kurashiki Station area redevelopment

A few photos of the station and the redevelopment planned next to it. This is in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture in western Japan.

First up is the redevelopment, which will consist of a Mitsui Outlet Park (store area approx. 20,000 sq m, approx. 100 stores), opening in winter 2011, and an Itō Yōkadō, the Japanese version of a hypermarket like Wal-Mart, Carrefour, etc.

West side of the parcel is so far untouched.

Future site of the Itō Yōkadō.

The site is adjacent to the North Exit of JR Kurashiki Station.

The North Exit also features an elliptical pedestrian deck.

North-south public passage through the station.

South Exit, which is the primary entrance.


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Tokushima City continues ¥100 bus program

Starting in November, Tokushima City will launch a service on the last Sunday of every month that reduces fares on buses to ¥100 per ride. For any fixed-route buses departing or arriving at JR Tokushima Station, adults pay only ¥100, even from Naka Town and Sanagōchi Village. The city was completely surprised by the popularity of the ¥100 bus program implemented since last year by Tokushima Prefecture, and hopes to bring back streams of people to central Tokushima City.

The ¥100 bus program was revealed by Mayor Hara Hideki at his October 12 regular press conference. The service covers all lines operated by Tokushima Municipal Bus, Komatsushima Municipal Bus, and Tokushima Bus, and regardless of where you board or disembark, fares are only ¥100 per ride. For instance, the journey between Kawaguchi Depot (Yoshino, Naka Town) and JR Tokushima Station (¥1,450) will see its fare drop to less than 1/14 of the usual fare.

The dates for the program are designed to coincide with the Sunday market in Kon'yamachi, Tokushima City. In the November Sunday market, a special event will be held allowing elementary school children to experience a wide variety of working environments in the retail arcade, while in December—when the market will celebrate its second anniversary—the number of stalls will be increased. Through the synergistic effects of a cheap bus fare and special events, the city hopes to attract car users from outside the city and prefecture who typically drive to visit shopping malls in the suburbs.

The ¥100 bus program has already been implemented before by Tokushima Prefecture on a committee basis. When the program was tried two days last year in September and November, the number of users increased from 18,043 when the usual fare was in effect from the year before to 22,688. The program was again rolled out in September, recording approx. 11,700 users in one day only.

Events held on the same day were bustling with people, with vendors running out of special prizes to give and groups from different areas coming to visit the retail districts. Committee member and chairman of the Tokushima Prefecture Retail Association Promotion Union's Youth Department, Hattori Kazuhiko, recalls the impact: "After taking a survey of users, we found that a lot of people came from outside the city."

However, the critical bus business is having difficulties staying afloat. According to Tokushima Prefecture, ¥1.34 million in national government subsidies were used last year to compensate for operating losses with the program. This year, it won't be the national government but Tokushima Prefecture picking up the tab, at the estimated cost of ¥470,000 for each day the program is in effect. The Tokushima Prefecture Transport Strategy Section, which oversees the program, says, "If we are to continue the program, we would need to increase the fares somehow, such as from ¥100 to ¥200. If only the ¥100 program could get people to try riding the bus when the fares are priced normally..." Tokushima City plans to have the program in effect for a five-month period until March of next year, and has budgeted ¥7.22 million. In regards to a possible extension to April and beyond, the city says "it all depends on the impact of the program."

Bus operators are keeping wary eyes on the ¥100 bus program. Spokespesons for Tokushima Bus were hopeful, saying, "If this becomes a regular habit among riders, the ¥100 days may just beat out our regular-fare days," but that "the fixed-route bus business as a whole is in the red. At this rate, these routes will be forced to rely on funding subsidies." "Just making the fares temporarily cheap won't be enough to keep the customers. We need to work to get people to feel affection for the buses on a regular basis, such as by creating pleasant environments inside buses."


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New station under consideration on the JR San’yō Line in Himeji City

At a regular session of the Himeji City Council in Himeji City in Hyōgo Prefecture, Mayor Iwami Toshikatsu was quoted as saying, “I have received a proposal from JR asking to ‘consider the possibility of a new station near Ichinogō.’ I would like to work with the city to actively begin considerations,” revealing his intentions to begin discussions with the aim of establishing the new station.

According to Himeji City, the candidate location for the new station is in Ichinogō, Himeji City between Himeji and Gochaku Stations on the San’yō Line, currently 4.3 km apart. The new station would be located approx. 1.9 km east of Himeji Station. The mayor says that in early June, JR West officials suggested the possibility of “considering establishment of a new station together.”

JR West’s Public Relations Department explained the reasoning behind the proposal: “We’ve believed for some time now that establishment of a new station was desirable in terms of improving convenience and increasing ridership.”

Himeji City is proceeding with plans for construction of master plan roads and a land readjustment project by FY2017 in the Abo district on the south side of the San’yō Line, and it’s expected that the planned population of the area will increase to 5,500 residents, approx. threefold the current population.

On the north side of the San’yō Line are residential neighborhoods home to public housing, as well as big-box retailers and public facilities such as the Himeji Prefecture Craftsmen Academy (scheduled to open next school year) and the Himeji Police Station, and the city believes that convenience will improve with the new station.
Site of new station:,134.712392&spn=0.004236,0.010568&t=k&z=17
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