Bullet trains recycled into baseball bats

A number of decommissioned bullet trains in Japan have been dismantled and recycled into baseball bats for children.

a Tokaido Shinkansen  bullet train A Tokaido Shinkansen Bullet Train. (PHOTO: Adobe Stock)

A number of decommissioned bullet trains in Japan have been dismantled and recycled into baseball bats for children.

Central Japan Railways (JR Central) and specialist sports retailer Mizuno worked in partnership to transform the Shinkansen N700 bullet trains, which were previously carried thousands of passengers on Japan’s Tokaido Shinkansen high speed railway line.

JR Tokai, part of JR Central, developed a new recycling technology to process the metal into what it calls “Tokaido Shinkansen recycled aluminium”.

“Because it is a high-strength recycled aluminium material used in Shinkansen trains, it can be used not only for decoration but also for building materials and precision machinery,” said the railway company.

According to JR Central, its recycling technology extracts “only high-purity aluminium alloys by removing deposits from the aluminium used in Shinkansen trains”.

Tokaido Shinkansen recycled aluminium is also said to required less energy during manufacturing and produces lower emissions than that of new aluminium production.

The new N700 baseball bats (PHOTO: Mizuno)

Mizuno said: “This is Mizuno’s first ever aluminium recycled bat. It was considered technically difficult to make a bat with recycled aluminium, but we were able to commercialize “Tokaido Shinkansen recycled aluminium” by adjusting the ingredients to make it a material suitable for bats (about 95% of Tokaido Shinkansen recycled aluminium is used).”

Looking to the future JR Central, which retires around six bullet trains a year, said: “We collaborate with companies other than group companies to expand the use of Tokaido Shinkansen recycled aluminium and material recycling.”

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