NE Train

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NE Train
JR East E995-1 omiya 20111015.jpg
KuMoYa E995-1 "NE Train Smart Denchi-kun" in October 2011
In service 2003–Present
Manufacturer Tokyu Car Corporation
Constructed 2003
Number built 1 vehicle
Formation Single car
Operator(s) JR East
Car body construction Stainless steel[1]
Car length 20,000 mm (65 ft 7 in)
Width 2,800 mm (9 ft 2 in)
Height 3,655 mm (11 ft 11.9 in)
Doors 2 pairs per side
Maximum speed 100 km/h (60 mph)
Electric system(s) 1,500 V DC
Current collection method Overhead catenary
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The "NE Train" (NEトレイン?) (New Energy Train) is an experimental railcar which has been used to test a number of alternative power sources by the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) and East Japan Railway Company (JR East) in Japan since 2003.[2]


KiYa E991 diesel/battery hybrid railcar[edit]

The "NE Train" was first delivered from Tokyu Car Corporation in April 2003, configured as the world's first hybrid diesel/battery railcar[3] and classified as KiYa E991-1. The stainless steel bodyshell was derived from the E127-100 series EMU design, with cabs at either end and no gangways.[1] From 6 May 2003, it was tested on the Nikkō and Karasuyama Lines.[4] Data obtained from these trials was used to develop the KiHa E200 DMU, which entered service on the Koumi Line from July 2007.[1]

KuMoYa E995 fuel-cell/battery hybrid railcar[edit]

The "NE Train" underwent modifications in 2006 to replace the diesel generator with a hydrogen fuel cell, becoming the world's first fuel-cell/battery hybrid railway vehicle, classified KuMoYa E995-1. The vehicle was fitted with six hydrogen tanks (with total capacity of 270 l) and lithium-ion batteries with increased storage capacity (19 kWh) compared with the earlier KiYa E991 hybrid version. These powered two 95 kW traction motors. The railcar was based at Nagano depot, and tested on JR East main lines in the Nagano area during fiscal 2007 at speeds of up to 100 km/h.[5]

KuMoYa E995 series battery railcar[edit]

KuMoYa E995-1 "NE Train Smart Denchi-kun" in October 2011
The first EV-E301 series two-car battery EMU in March 2014

The "NE Train" again underwent modifications at Tokyu Car Corporation's factory in Yokohama in 2009 to become a battery electric multiple unit with the addition of a pantograph and storage batteries replacing the earlier fuel cell, and rebranded "NE Train Smart Denchi-kun" (NE Train スマート電池くん?). This railcar has a maximum service speed of 100 km/h (60 mph) and can operate on battery power alone a distance of up to 50 km away from an overhead power supply.[6]

The railcar was test-run within Ōmiya Works from October 2009, with test running on the Utsunomiya Line under consideration from January 2010.[7]

The unit was modified in August 2011, with one of the four lithium battery units relocated beneath the passenger seats, increasing available space.[8]

In February and March 2012, the programme entered its final phase, with night-time test-running on the non-electrified Karasuyama Line outside operating hours. A recharging facility was built at Karasuyama Station at the end of the line, consisting of a rigid overhead conductor enabling the train to be recharged via its pantograph.[9] The overhead conductor bar is electrified at 1,500 V DC, powered from the local electricity grid 6.6 kV AC supply, and a 10-minute charge allows the train to travel approximately 20 km (12 mi).[10]

Technology developed in the "Smart Denchi-kun" programme was incorporated in the EV-E301 series two-car battery electric multiple unit that entered revenue service on the Karasuyama Line and Tohoku Main Line from March 2014.[11]

See also[edit]

  • Smart BEST, an experimental Japanese battery train built by Kinki Sharyo in 2012


  1. ^ a b c プロトタイプの世界 - Prototype World. Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. December 2005. OCLC 170056962. 
  2. ^ JR全車輌ハンドブック2006 [JR Rolling Stock Handbook 2006]. Japan: Neko Publishing. 2006. ISBN 4-7770-0453-8. 
  3. ^ 世界初のハイブリッド鉄道車両! 「NEトレイン」 [World-first hybrid rail vehicle "NE Train"]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 43 no. 506. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. June 2003. p. 86. 
  4. ^ JR東日本 キヤE991系"NEトレイン" 日光線試運転中 [JR East KiYa E991 "NE Train" test running on Nikkō Line]. Tetsudō Daiya Jōhō. Japan: Kōtsū Shimbun. 32 (231): 72. July 2003. 
  5. ^ 世界初の燃料電池ハイブリッド車両 クモヤE995形 [World-first fuel-cell hybrid rail vehicle KuMoYa E995]. Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 48 no. 561. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. January 2008. pp. 53–55. 
  6. ^ 「蓄電池駆動電車システム」の開発を進めています [Development of battery-powered train system] (PDF). JR East press release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "JR East developing battery-powered trains". Daily Yomiuri Online. Japan: Yomiuri Shimbun. 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  8. ^ JRが改良版蓄電池車両を公開 [JR shows off modified battery vehicle]. Shimotsuke Original Online News (in Japanese). Japan: Shimotsuke Shimbun. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  9. ^ 「スマート電池くん」の実用性を確認する試験を実施します [Validation testing of "Smart Denchi-kun"] (pdf). Press release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  10. ^ 烏山線で充電試験 蓄電池で走る [Recharging trials on Karasuyama Line - Running on batteries]. The Asahi Shimbun Digital (in Japanese). Japan: The Asahi Shimbun Company. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  11. ^ JR東日本 烏山線に新型蓄電池電車導入 [JR East to introduce new battery train on Karasuyama Line]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2012. 

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