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OSAKA (Kyodo) Showing it has learned a bitter lesson from the catastrophic 2005 train derailment in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, West Japan Railway Co. on Monday unveiled a new type of train car with advanced safety features.

The Series 225 trains were built with a “crush zone” in the ceiling that is designed to help the car absorb shocks better as a whole. Although it reduces structural strength, it will help passengers survive a major impact, JR West said.

“This train car has all the available safety features we can offer today,” he said. “Please enjoy the ride with peace of mind,” an unnamed official said in showing off the train during the unveiling at JR West’s train yard in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture.

In a crash, the crush zone allows the ceiling to break first, reducing damage to the seating areas, the official said. The new cars were made specifically for commuter lines in the busiest parts of the Kansai region.

JR West is building 226 of the new cars, which cost ¥30 billion to develop. The trains are scheduled to debut in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe by the end of fiscal 2010, the carrier said.

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