Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) received an order from Hiroshima Rapid Transit Co. for 66 carriages (11 trains) to be used on the Hiroshima New Transit Line 1, also known as the "Astram Line," an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) system.
The vehicles will replace carriages that have been in service since the line opened in 1994. Deliveries are slated to commence in the 2019 fiscal year and will be completed in fiscal 2025.
The carriages use an all-aluminum-alloy, double-skin structure known as "Al-Fine," which offers advantages in terms of light-weight construction, durability and recycling.
They also use MHI's "T-smover" bogies; these serve to increase riding comfort by reducing the carriage's swaying motion. The cars are also equipped with MHI's "G-Fit" semi-high-back bucket type seats that encourage seated passengers to keep their legs tucked in to avoid extending them into the aisle space.
Hiroshima Rapid Transit was founded in 1987 under a joint initiative involving both the private and public sectors, led by the municipal authorities of Hiroshima. The company's Astram Line connects Hondori Station in the city center with Koiki-koen-mae Station in Hiroshima's northwestern outskirts, a distance of 18.4 kilometers (11.4 miles). Daily ridership averages some 63,000 passengers.
AGT systems are designed to make use of space above roadways, and since 1981 have been introduced in numerous Japanese cities. Their use of rubber tires results in minimal noise and vibration.
To date, MHI has delivered three models in its AGT carriage lineup: the "7300 Series," featured on Tokyo's Yurikamome Line; the "330 Series," used on the Nippori-Toneri Line in Tokyo; and the "2020 Series," in service on the "New Shuttle" (Ina Line) in Saitama Prefecture. MHI also has delivered AGT carriages to airports in the United States, Asia and the Middle East.
MHI is based in Tokyo and is one of the world's leading industrial firms with 80,000 group employees and annual consolidated revenues of around $38 billion.