WEST Japan Railway (JR West) plans to order four 11-car EMUs fitted with tilt equipment. The trains are scheduled to commence operations in spring 2024.

The series 273 dc EMUs are destined for the 1067mm-gauge Yakumuro limited express, which operates in the Chugoju region of Honshu. They will replace series 381 EMUs which were introduced in 1987.

The new trains will be fitted with what JR West describes as “the first natural pendulum system with on-board control.” This has been developed in Japan, with the train continuously collating the curve data on the coach, the data of the driving point and then tilting the train at the appropriate time. JR West worked with the Railway Technical Research Institute and Kawasaki on this technology.

The series 273 fleet will also be equipped with air purifiers, wheelchair spaces, LED lighting, Wi-Fi,  and multipurpose rooms.

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