MHI Begins Construction of 'MIHARA Test Center,' Japan's First C

MHI Begins Construction of 'MIHARA Test Center,' Japan's First Comprehensive
Railway Transportation System Test Facility 
Tokyo, Mar 27, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) -  Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
(MHI) began construction of the "MIHARA Test Center," Japan's
first comprehensive railway transportation system verification facility, at the
Wadaoki Plant of its Mihara Machinery Works in Hiroshima Prefecture. The test
center - which takes its name both from its location and from the acronym
"Multipurpose Integrated Highly Advanced Railway Applications" - will
have a 3.2 kilometers (km) long loop track capable of accommodating various
international standards. Operation is slated to commence in the first half of
2014. Plans call for the center to welcome use by outside entities such as
other companies, government offices and organizations. 
A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the construction site today attended by
local government officials and representatives of related organizations,
associations, a university, railway companies, manufacturers and trading
companies. Attendees included Deputy Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture Kazuaki
Jono, Mihara City Mayor Yasuyuki Goto and MHI President Hideaki Omiya. 
Construction of the MIHARA Test Center is aimed primarily at strengthening
Japan's business competitiveness in railway systems, a pillar of the
country's infrastructure export strategy. The center will function as a
strong support tool for verifying compliance with international standards and
for promoting product development. At the same time, it will also serve to
further enhance Japan's highly acclaimed railway system maintenance and
management capabilities. Future plans call for center facilities to be further
upgraded to enable comprehensive verification testing and demonstrations
related to smart communities. 
MHI has already had test tracks at the Wadaoki Plant not only for railway
systems but also for the APM (automated people mover) system and the HSST
(high-speed surface transport) magnetic levitation system. With construction of
the new MIHARA Test Center, these existing test tracks will be significantly
extended by introducing the 3.2km loop track. The new test tracks will enable
train performance testing under various conditions: for example, operation at a
maximum speed of 100km/hour, continuous operation, and noise testing on curves.
The center will also have system capability to perform comprehensive train
testing, including the signaling system, communications system, operation
management, etc. 
Although the global market for railway systems is presently booming,
competition among system suppliers has become increasingly intense due to the
entry of competitors in newly emerging countries. Against this backdrop, the
market now tends to require more sophisticated signal and operation management
systems and more complex route layouts in urban areas, and as a result
high-level system integration capability to respond to these requirements has
become a key factor for winning orders. Construction of the new test facility
is MHI's response to today's market trends and the company's
need to enhance its competitiveness. 
MHI plans not only to use the MIHARA Test Center for its own purposes but also
to make the facility widely available for use by other entities. Based on that
intention, evaluation and management methods will be taken under consideration
- from the viewpoints of fairness, confidentiality and openness - by a
committee that will include related industrial associations and corporations.
Several organizations have already expressed interest in cooperating, and this
stance will enable a team approach to enhancing Japan's competitiveness in
this field. 
Going forward MHI intends to play a role as a leading company in this area and
aggressively promote the superiority of Japanese railway systems to the global
market. At the same time it will leverage construction of the MIHARA Test
Center to strengthen its own international competitiveness as a systems
About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one
of the world's leading heavy machinery manufacturers, with consolidated
sales of 2,820.9 billion yen in fiscal 2011, the year ended March 31, 2012.
MHI's diverse lineup of products and services encompasses shipbuilding,
power plants, chemical plants, environmental equipment, steel structures,
industrial and general machinery, aircraft, space rocketry and air-conditioning
systems. For more information, please visit the MHI website at 
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Hideo Ikuno
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