Japans Hitachi in Deal with Britain for High-speed Rail Project

Japans Hitachi will supply nearly 600 train carriages for Britains inter-city high-speed rail project in a deal worth £4.5 billion, the company and the British government said Wednesday.The giant conglomerate won the project along with British partner John Laing in 2009 but negotiations had been delayed after a change of government in Britain.The firms will supply 92 complete trains — comprised of 596 carriages — to replace the ageing fleet on Britains inter-city rail networks, with Hitachi holding a 70-percent stake in the consortium while John Laing has 30 percent.

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China claims its rail tech superior to Japan’s

A spokesman for the Chinese Railways Ministry says the nation’s high-speed rail technologies are far superior to those used by Japan’s bullet trains.

The remarks Thursday by Wang Yongping in an interview with the Xinhua news agency came after Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. threatened to take action if China files for patents on high-speed trains that use Japanese technology in violation of contracts signed between Japan and China.

The technologies for which patent applications have reportedly been filed in at least five countries and regions are used in China’s high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai, which was inaugurated on June 30.

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Japan offers to fund part of US high-speed rail project

Japan has offered to fund part of a project to build an ultra-fast train line between Washington and New York, which would revolutionize travel on the US east coast, a Japanese official said Friday.

In talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara proposed that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation would fund a portion of the first phase of a project to bring Maglev trains to the US, said Satoru Satoh, the Japanese embassy press attache.

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The proposed first phase of the project would see a Maglev train, which can travel at speeds of up to 341 miles per hour (550 kilometers per hour), link Washington with Baltimore some 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the north and currently an hour’s train ride away.

The Maglev line would eventually be extended to New York, more than 200 miles from Washington, putting the Big Apple and Baltimore closer to the capital in terms of travel time than many suburbs in Virginia and Maryland.

New York would be an hour away from Washington once the Maglev is up and running instead of the current four hours.

Baltimore, which is linked to Washington by a commuter train that takes an hour and 10 minutes, would be around a quarter of an hour away.

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Vietnam’s Cabinet Approves Plan to Build a $55.9 Billion High-Speed Rail using Japanese Bullet-Train Tech

A win for Japanese technology abroad and for a greener way of travel and mass transit for Vietnam.

According to Bloomberg News:

Vietnam’s Cabinet has approved plans for a $55.9 billion high-speed rail project that would use Japan’s bullet-train technology, Nikkei English News reported, without saying how it obtained the information.

The rail line would connect the northern and southern parts of Vietnam. Construction is to start in 2012 and trains would run on part of the line in 2020, Nikkei said.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Corp., Sumitomo Corp., and other Japanese companies have been urging Vietnam to adopt their technology, the report said.