UK To Get Hitachi Super-Express Trains
Some good news, glad to see at least one government not going into a protectionist tail-spin, as others seem intent on doing. The Hitachi 395 Javelin was selected for Britain's Southeastern train company on the soon-to-be-completed final section of the Channel Tunnel Rail link from Kent into central London. By 2013 they will connect London to Edinburgh and replace the 30-year-old InterCity 125s.
The trains will be the fastest operating domestic service trains in Britain, running at a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 km/h). NHK World notes that technically, these are very advanced trains:
The stock will include hybrid trains equipped with diesel engines and lithium ion batteries. Hitachi says there is growing recognition of its environment-friendly technology. Capitalizing on the reputation of its bullet trains, Japan's manufacturers see the worldwide push for "greener" transport alternatives as a significant opportunity.
Now, if only the British could teach the Japanese how to build large, wonderful train stations...