EAST JAPAN Railway has completed the first trial runs with its ’environmentally-friendly’ New Energy Train, a hybrid diesel-electric railcar designated Series E991. The tests were conducted on the 40 km Utsonomiya - Nikko line. The 19·5m long 1067mm gauge vehicle has a top speed of 100 km/h. It is driven by a 95 kW induction motor, using VVVF inverter controls. Power is supplied by a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery, which stores regenerated braking energy. This can be topped up by a 180 kW induction generator driven by a 331 kW diesel engine operating at 2100rev/min, or by a fuel cell in the longer term.