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  1. JR Hokkaido announced on Wednesday, June 10 that it is going to jointly develop a new DMU railcar design for cold region climates with JR East. The aim is to cut development and production costs. Features will be: -diesel electric drive -driving cabs on both ends, for single car, driver only operation -barrier free facilities i.e. wheelchair space and accessible toilets -air conditioning JR Hokkaido will order 100 units to replace the 140 aging kiha 40 DMU's currently in service. JR East will order 63 units. Two test units will be ready by 2017 for JR Hokkaido, with units entering in service in 2019. According to Nikkei, JR East will start using them earlier in revenue service in 2017. http://www.jrhokkaido.co.jp/press/2015/150610-2.pdf http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASDZ10HNY_Q5A610C1TI5000/
  2. JR East announced Tuesday (May 19) that they are looking to replace dmu rolling stock with new types in the Niigata and Akita areas, starting in 2017, and continuing through 2020. The requirement is for 19 single railcars and 22 two-car units, for a total of 63 railcars. The design will use diesel-electric propulsion, rather than the standard up to now of diesel-hydraulic drive. The units will replace the aging kiha 40, 47, and 48 types. In addition to domestic builders, JR East is soliciting foreign makers to participate in the process, as they have done for the Hachinohe Line rolling stock replacement program. This order for 63 railcars is included in a greater plan by JR East to procure 150 to 250 new railcars of the diesel-electric type. http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2015/05/19/418/ JR East English procurement info: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/data/procurement/pdf/20150519_e_procurement.pdf
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