Friday, February 22, 2013
JR East To Procure High-Tech Train Control System From France
TOKYO (Nikkei)--East Japan Railway Co. (9020) has selected two French firms as candidates for providing a new train control system to be introduced in Japan around 2020, the company said Thursday.
Under communications-based train control, trains wirelessly transmit their locations to central control equipment. This eliminates the need for rail track circuits and helps significantly reduce the amount of cabling.
JR East solicited potential suppliers last year, with 10 companies -- both domestic and foreign -- offering their technologies. The railway operator compared them in safety, maintenance services and previous experience. Alstom and Thales made the cut, apparently for their wealth of experience, and a final decision between the two will likely come this year.
The technology has already been applied in France, the U.S., China and elsewhere. While Japan is known worldwide for its advanced railway technology, Europe is ahead in some areas. JR East has adopted German technology in brakes for shinkansen bullet trains.
(The Nikkei, Feb. 22 morning edition)