JR East to begin testing hydrogen-powered train in March 2022

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East), a major passenger railway company in Japan, has revealed its new US$35 million hydrogen-powered train, which has been developed in partnership with Hitachi and Toyota Motor Corp.

Safety testing on the two-car Hybari hydrogen will begin in late March on the Nanbu Line, which connects Tachikawa, Tokyo and Kawasaki. JR East plans to test on other lines in the future. The testing program will study operational costs and performance to decide which lines best suit the hydrogen train.

It is hoped that Hybari, which stands for Hydrogen-Hybrid Advanced Rail Vehicle for Innovation, will enter commercial service in 2030. It features an advanced fuel cell and battery system and can travel up to approximately 140 km on a full tank.

The train is part of JR East’s target of reaching net zero by 2050. The company hopes that in the future the Hybari hydrogen train technology will help it replace diesel-powered trains.