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Japan Developing First Fuel-Cell Powered Train

File photo: Shinkansen Hayate, Japan.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Apr 05, 2006
Japan is developing the world's first train to be powered by environmentally friendly fuel-cell batteries, a press report said Tuesday. East Japan Railway Co., the world's largest passenger railway company, will shortly complete a prototype fuel-cell train for test runs, the Jiji Press news agency said.

The test train will be made up of a single car and carry two 65-kilowatt fuel cells, the report said. It can travel at 100 kilometers (62.5 miles) per hour.

No official was immediately available at the company to confirm the report.

Fuel cells produce electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, leaving water as the only by-product.

Fuel-cell batteries in cartridges can be easily replaced in contrast to conventional batteries that take hours to recharge.

The company plans to operate fuel-cell trains sometime in mid-2007 on its lines in mountain regions west of Tokyo, the report said.

The world's leading carmakers have been developing fuel-cell vehicles which have been hailed for their lower gas consumption.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Turin, Italy (AFP) Dec 17, 2005
Tens of thousands of demonstrators joined a march Saturday to protest the building of a high-speed rail link between Lyon in France and the Italian city of Turin, set to host the 2006 Winter Olympics in February.

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