Hitachi Ltd is expected to sign a high-speed railway project deal in the UK worth more than 500 billion yen ($5.62 billion), as the electronics conglomerate stepped up its efforts to exploit overseas markets, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Hitachi, which earns the bulk of its sales from making bullet train systems, nuclear reactors, elevators and IT services, will offer hybrid rail cars powered by lithium ion batteries and diesel engines under the deal, the Nikkei said.

The deal, which could be signed within this fiscal year, includes supplying all 1,400 rail cars, providing maintenance and developing operational systems, the daily reported.

About 20 percent of sales at the company's transportation system business comes from abroad, but Hitachi plans to raise this ratio to 70 percent in 2015, it said.

Japanese companies including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Nippon Signal Co are also looking to invest in rail projects abroad, as focus there is shifting to environment-friendly trains from airplanes and cars, the Nikkei said.

($1=88.90 Yen) (Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Maju Samuel)