Japan is set to provide an awesome boost to the country’s green programs with its new diesel-electric hybrid prototype trains. West Japan Railway (WJR) has announced that they are all set to unveil the diesel-electric hybrid prototype trains. WJR says that its development work is nearly complete and says that a practical version of its hybrid train will be ready for operation by 2015.
The green train combines a diesel engine with lithium-ion storage batteries. The batteries get recharged by energy produced when the train decelerates and is used to power the train’s lights, climate control systems and other accessories. According to WJR, the diesel electric setup boosts fuel economy by approximately 13 percent.
WJR has been field testing prototypes of the diesel-electric train since 2009. The trials have verified the hybrid system’s ability to reduce fuel consumption, convincing WJR to give the train the green light. However, critical design features pertaining to the location of batteries and whether or not to make the trains charge-by-wire capable are still wavering.
Meanwhile, many thinks that it seems much better to electrify urban sections of track or those near power lines and upgrades and downgrades.