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JR East solicits tenders for new diesel railcars


bikkuri bahn

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bikkuri bahn

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

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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Bikkuri, have you seen any news on the procurement for the Hachinohe Line?  Will these contracts be awarded to only one manufacturer?  If the specific mention of foreign builders isn't just for bargaining or foreign relations purposes, I wonder if they'd consider buying a smaller quantity for evaluation purposes.  Or maybe a genuinely interested foreign builder would provide a set or two for a period of time...

 

 

link to Hachinohe Line DMU thread: http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/8875-possible-scoop-jr-east-to-request-tenders-for-new-rolling-stock-for-hachinohe-line/

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bikkuri bahn

No news I can find about the Hachinohe project.  The deadline for any applications was at the end of February.  Maybe they are still evaluating. 

 

I don't know about evaluation prototypes- it seems once a supplier is selected, it's "all in"- subject to preliminary testing of initial rolling stock.  Maybe a more careful reading of the document may reveal a more precise answer. 

 

There are two types of bids- "discrete proposal", for components, including bodyshell, and "entire proposal", for the whole kit and kaboodle.  The discrete proposal may prove more attractive to foreign suppliers who want to increase sales for specific components rather than selling whole trains.

Edited by bikkuri bahn
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My guess: something based on the HB-E300 Hybrid DMU design, but in a small carbody. It might even kind of resemble the KiHa 120 DMU found in JR West service (which Niigata Transys did build a number of them many years ago). These new hybrid DMU's will not only replace the KiHa 40/47/48 models, but eventually replace the KiHa 100/110 models, too.

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bikkuri bahn

These new hybrid DMU's

 

They're technically not hybrid designs, but rather straight DEMUs,  like the Bombardier Voyager family (BR Class 220,221,222) used in the UK.

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But if JR is soliciting tenders for them, surely that makes them a coal/diesel hybrid? (Sorry, couldn't resist ;) )

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Anyone knows whether any foreign companies are participating?

 

Previously, siemens won a metro project in Japan but that was a very long time ago.

It will be interesting to see whether JR East will allow foreign companies to win.

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bikkuri bahn
Anyone knows whether any foreign companies are participating?

 

The deadline for proposals is Dec. 2015.  The supplier will be determined by July 2016.

 

It's up to the foreign companies to put in an effort, as JR East has laid out the requirements.  Whether they win is incumbent on the attractiveness of their proposal, like anywhere else.

 

Personally, I would like to see some of the smaller firms, like CAF or Stadler, make proposals.

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It would be interesting to see foreign companies participating. Nevertheless, I think foreign companies should have a local partner to better understand the Japanese requirement and culture.

 

Most of the suppliers in Japan may be afraid to partner with foreigners due to the stigma that they are helping foreigners to win.

 

Nevertheless, I do see Niigata Transys having a good chance as they have good records of DMU.

 

Any estimated budget given by JR East for this DMU tender?

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My guess: Niigata Transys wins, building something based on the technology used on the HB-E300 hybrid DMU, but with a less expensive body and interior design. It'll probably look something like the JR East KiHa 110 DMU's, but maybe in a more modern design. This new hybrid DMU will eventually replace all the KiHa 100/110 DMU's in JR East service.

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The document does say diesel-electric, so that seems to be a reasonable assumption.  They must be confident in hybrid technology.  I wonder when we'll see more of the EV-E301 series, or its successor...

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