Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kinkisharyo touts hybrid streetcar for U.S.

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Kinkisharyo International, LLC said Tuesday its North American growth strategy will be spearheaded by introduction of a 100% low-floor, dual-powered ‘hybrid’ streetcar specifically designed for the United States. The first LFX-300 will be unveiled at an unspecified location in the U.S. in November.

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The LFX-300 is propelled by either traditional overhead electric catenary or by on-board battery power. In battery powered mode, it uses electricity stored from regenerative braking and by charging the batteries while running on catenary, minimizing total power consumption. The company says the LFX-300 has been specifically designed for North America and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Buy America, and NFPA-130.

“In this new economy, cities across North America have greater expectations of their urban transit solutions providers. Kinkisharyo understands that our customers expect more value today. Through technical innovation, we can deliver more in terms of economic performance, environmental responsibility, and public safety,” said Rainer Hombach, vice president and general manager.

Hombach suggest the LFX-300 “is the ideal streetcar for downtown and historic areas, particularly those with preservation or aesthetic requirements where overhead catenary power is not feasible.” Several U.S. locations, notably the federal district within Washington, D.C., have struggled with the reintroduction of streetcar service while minimizing the impact of overhead wires on “visual corridors.”