Japan’s next generation Shinkansen 'bullet trains' are reportedly to be equipped with backup batteries so they can reach nearby stations in the event of power outages and allow passengers to alight safely.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, lithium-ion batteries will be installed in the N700-S series of trains to enable travel over “several kilometres when power outages render normal operations impossible”.
“The aim is to allow a bullet train to move to another location to disgorge passengers in the event of an emergency, such as an earthquake that leads to power outages and causes trains to stop on top of bridges or within tunnels,” the journal said.
The Asahi Shimbun said the battery would be jointly developed with Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions and other entities.
The Central Japan Railway (JR Tokai) company plans to develop the new battery system for the N700 S-series which are expected to start operations in the new few years, the journal said.
The 16-car N700 A-series now in service on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line weighs about 713 tons, but the N700 S-series is expected to come in at under 700 tons for the same number of cars, the journal said.
JR Tokai president was quoted as telling the journal: “This system only works because the new rail car will be lighter. It will be the accumulation of many years of research focusing on lighter railway technology.”
JR Tokai could not be contacted by Critical Power Online for comment.