In major development, HART begins trial run phase for embattled rail project
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation has begun trial runs for the first segment of the 20-mile project.
It’s a significant development for the troubled system, which is over budget and far behind schedule.
According to HART, Trial Running is a term to describe a rigorous and comprehensive series of tests of all aspects of the trains, stations, systems and operating personnel, including the simulation of many normal and emergency operating scenarios.
The testing will include trials runs of the system’s first 10 miles between East Kapolei station to Aloha Stadium. Trains will run around the clock, checking for problems and glitches in the system.
“This is an important milestone for HART and for the community at large,” said Honolulu City Councilmember Brandon Elefante. “Because this is the important step in terms of safety, doing different testing procedures, you know, what it would look like, with trains fully functional.”
The rail authority has no deadline to complete the tests but they said that once they’re finished, they can turnover the segment to the city which is expected to begin interim service to Aloha Stadium next year.
Two years after that — in 2025 — interim service is scheduled to begin to Middle Street.
The testing could turn up new problems — like cracks along the concrete guideway and faulty welds on the rail crossover which allow the trains to switch tracks.
Elefante said it’s better to find inefficiencies with the rail’s operations now so that they can be addressed before moving forward.
Rail officials are also warning the public to “look ahead, not overhead” during the testing phase because the stations are an active construction site.
Trespassers — like four teens who hopped a fence at the Halawa station last year — may be unaware that the so-called “third rail” will be energized at all times during the testing phase and is deadly to touch.
The public is advised to avoid the rail tracks at all times.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.