Japan fast tracks hydrogen trains to reduce emissions

TOKYO, Nov 01 (News On Japan) - Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and JR companies held a meeting for the first time on Wednesday to share information on introducing railways that run on hydrogen fuel in order to "decarbonize" railways.

According to the ministry, not only will the introduction of hydrogen-fueled railways reduce CO2 emissions, but it will also eliminate the need for overhead lines and substations that supply electricity to the trains, leading to a reduction in infrastructure.

JR East has started running tests on the hybrid train "HYBARI", which utilizes both hydrogen fuel cells and rechargeable batteries, aiming for practical application by 2030.

For practical implementation, there are challenges such as the absence of clear safety standards for hydrogen-fueled railways, and technical hurdles to reduce costs.