Thursday, 13 March 2014

Soon-to-be-launched: JR East's Accumulator Train

EMU JR East EV-E301 series leaves Utsunomiya Station for a test-ride event
Along with the Shinkansen E7 series, JR East is gearing up to launch another EMU for the new timetable starting on March 15th. It is the EV-E301 series on the Karasuyama Line.

The EV-E301 series is Japan's first accumulator train for non-electrified tracks. One set is composed of two cars that have two sets of 600V-95kWh lithium ion accumulators for power supply. The power is charged from 1,500V DC catenaries on an electrified track via pantographs and charging facilities constructed on a non-electrified track.

The actual operation of the EV-E301 series is planned as follows.

The train is operated as an ordinary EMU on the electrified Tohoku Main Line between Utsunomiya Terminal and Hoshakuji Junction. While the train is operated, the power is charged from the catenary to the accumulators on the train via pantographs. After arriving at Hoshakuji Junction, the train starts running with the accumulators on the non-electrified Karasuyama Line (20.4km) dropping the pantographs. Finally, the train reaches Karasuyama Terminal and charges up for a return trip with the charging facility.

For your information, the EV-E301 series has induction motors with a VVVF control system; therefore, it is also able to recharge its power while braking with the regenerative braking system.

Last weekend, a test-ride event of the EV-E301 series was held by JR East. The test run train was operated between Utsunomiya Terminal and Hoshakuji Junction. A total of 80 people including local kids were invited by lot as guest passengers.

The EV-E301 series... soon-to-be-launched.

Lithium ion accumulators are seen on the EMU JR East EV-E301 series
More information about the EMU JR East EV-E301 series (in Japanese):