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.
Japan is set to launch at the weekend its next-generation high-speed train, featuring sleek green and silver cars with pink stripes and named for the peregrine falcon.
The "Hayabusa," the first upgrade of Japan’s bullet train fleet in 14 years, has sparked such excitement among railway buffs that one ticket for Saturday, when it debuts, sold for thousands of dollars on the internet, media said.
The train clocks in at a top speed of 300 km (180 miles) an hour, making it the fastest train in Japan — and just short of China’s Harmony Express, a cross-continental rapid transit line that hits a high of 350 km an hour.
"It is indeed a bullet train that represents the high level of our company and Japan’s technology," said Tomoyuki Endo, manager of the Shinkansen Group at East Japan Railway Company.
"Not only with its speed but also with its eco-friendly, speedy, reliable and comfortable mechanical performance as well as its fine passenger service."