Nistetu

Japan-based private rail service operator Nishi-Nippon Railroad (Nishitetsu) has awarded a contract to Toshiba to supply train propulsion and other key electrical systems.

Toshiba intends to start delivery of the equipment in May, which will be equipped in Nishitetsu’s 18 new Series 9000 trains.

Nishitetsu will introduce the new trains on its main line, the 78km Tenjin Omuta Line between Fukuoka City and Omuta City, in next March.

The new trains will replace Nishitetsu’s ageing 5000 Series rolling stock, which are currently operated on the Tenjin Omuta Line.

Under the deal, Toshiba will also deliver propulsion systems combining fully enclosed induction motors and variable-voltage, variable-frequency (VVVF) inverter systems, auxiliary power supply systems, air conditioners, the automatic train stop (ATS) system and other equipment.

"The new trains will replace Nishitetsu’s ageing 5000 Series rolling stock, which are currently operated on the Tenjin Omuta Line."

The induction motors to be delivered as part of the contract will have superior energy-saving performance and its fully enclosed structure reduces the need for internal cleaning and minimises maintenance.

The VVVF inverter system employs the company’s triple-mode main circuit that integrates three inverters in a single system, in which two inverters control the propulsion system, while the third controls the auxiliary power supply system that supplies power for air-conditioning and other on-board equipment.

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The triple-mode design contributes to stable operation: if one unit fails, the other two provide backup, without affecting the performance.

The triple mode main circuit also integrates the company-developed silicon-carbide (SiC) diode designed for temperature operation.

Apart from reducing energy consumption, it is easier to install on new 9000 Series trains in two and three-car configurations, where limited space is a concern.

Earlier this month, Nishitetsu awarded Kawasaki Heavy Industries a contract to supply 18 1,067mm-gauge EMU cars for operation on the Tenjin Omuta Line.


Image: Nishitetsu’s new 9000 Series (Car design by Kawasaki Heavy Industries). Photo: courtesy of Toshiba Corporation.