JR East issues international tender for new trains
CONTINUING its policy of seeking "best in class products from all over the world," East Japan Railway Company (JR East) launched an international tender on May 19 for a contract to supply diesel-electric multiple units (DEMUs) for regional lines in the Niigata and Akita areas.
JR East will procure a total of 63 vehicles, comprising 19 single-car trains and 22 two-car sets. The trains will be used on seven routes:
- Uetsu Main Line (Niitsu – Sakata)
- Shinetsu Main Line (Niitsu – Niigata)
- Yonesaka Main Line (Yonezawa – Sakamachi)
- Banetsu Saisen Line (AizuWakamatsu – Niitsu)
- Tsugaru Line (Aomori – Mimmaya)
- Gono Line (Higashi-Noshiro – Kawabe), and
- Ou Main Line (Akita – Higashi-Noshiro and Hirosaki – Aomori).
The fleet will enter service in the Niigata area between 2018 and 2020, and in the Akita area in 2021.
JR East says the trains will use a number of technologies it has already adopted and developed for electric trains.
The order represents the first tranche of a new fleet of 150-250 new DEMU vehicles for the Niigata and Akita areas. JR East says the remaining vehicles will be procured separately.
Last November JR East launched an international tender for 18 DMU cars for the Hachinohe – Kunji line.
JR East is keen to strengthen links with European suppliers and on May 21 it participated in the Third EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue on Railways, alongside other operators, suppliers, and industry associations. A fourth summit is due to take place in Tokyo in November.