East Japan Railway Co. will start commercial operations on July 31 of what officials say is the world's first environmentally friendly diesel-electric hybrid train.
One train consisting of two hybrid cars will make several round trips on sections of the Koumi Line each day during the summer.
The line connects Kobuchizawa in Yamanashi Prefecture and Komoro in Nagano Prefecture through tourist spots in the Kiyosato highlands.
The hybrid railway car Kiha E200 combines a diesel engine with a battery. The engine generates electricity to run the motor.
While a brake is applied, the motor is used as a generator, which recharges the storage battery.
JR East officials said the hybrid system will reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.