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Hitachi wins deal to convert British diesel trains to battery hybrids

Upgrade seen cutting carbon emissions and fuel use by 20%

Hitachi's trains can switch to alternative power sources on non-electrified portions of a rail line. (Photo courtesy of Hitachi)

TOKYO -- Hitachi will convert trains on a British high-speed rail line to a battery-hybrid type to reduce carbon emissions by lowering the use of diesel engines, the company said Wednesday.

Subsidiary Hitachi Rail signed a deal with the train owner, leasing company Eversholt Rail, to replace a portion of diesel engines with batteries. The technology will serve the 480 km Great Western Railway Intercity Express connecting London with Penzance, a town in the southwest.

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