ODATE, Akita - A cardboard train powered by dry cell batteries on Sunday succeeded in traveling 8.5 kilometers in two hours with about 10 passengers aboard.
The experimental run on the defunct Kosaka Railroad in Odate, Akita Prefecture, was part of Panasonic Corp.'s advertising campaign for its Evolta alkaline batteries.
It was the first train to run on the line since it closed down in 2009, and local residents and railroad fans cheered and applauded the feat. The train weighed about one ton with the passengers aboard.
Panasonic, in cooperation with students of Akita Prefectural University's manufacturing club, built the train with specially hardened cardboard. It measures 4.1 meters in length, 1.6 meters in width and 2.2 meters in height, and weighs about 400 kilograms. The train is equipped with a special motor powered by three parallel circuits, each with 33 cells connected in series - a total of 99 cells.