Japan launches hydrogen train

Japan's largest railway company has unveiled the “JR East” hydrogen-powered “Hibari” train.

The train was introduced to reporters at an experimental base in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Kyodo News Agency reported.

Train testing will commence in mid-March on one of the tracks in the capital. The engine generates electricity by chemically reacting the hydrogen compound in the tank with atmospheric oxygen. In turn, the generated electricity is stored in large batteries. Only harmless water vapor is released into the atmosphere without harming the environment.

These trains can travel up to 140 kilometers after fueling. They will be used in rural areas to replace diesel trains. “JR East” trains emit about 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere on an annual basis. It is intended to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 due to the introduction of new technologies, including environmentally friendly hydrogen engines.

Turning to 2050, the company is to ultimately halt the greenhouse emissions discharged by trains. This is in line with the Japanese government's plan to completely eliminate industrial and automobile emissions by the middle of the century.