The first driverless train for any major urban transit system in the U.S. took a step forward this week with Honolulu’s Train # 1 unveiled in Hawaii. In a ceremony at the new rail operations centre of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) overlooking Pearl Harbor, the four car train, manufactured by Hitachi Rail Italy made its first public appearance. The four-car train, has 188 total seats and will fit 650 passengers comfortably or "squeeze" up to 800 if required. In another U.S. milestone, it will be the first with an “open gangway” design enabling passengers to traverse the whole train easily. It will have racks for bikes, luggage and of course as we are in Hawaii, surfboards!
Hitachi Rail Italy is responsible for the design, manufacturing and testing of 20, $8.8 million four-car driverless trains for the project and the delivery of Train #1 marks another important step forward in the consolidation of Ansaldo STS‘s and Hitachi Rail Italy positions in the USA. The development of a metro for Honolulu has been a difficult process, for more than 40 years, debate over the development of a rail system - the most expensive municipal project in Hawaii’s history - was a major issue in local politics, especially leading into the 2008 and 2012 elections.
"This has been a long, difficult journey. It's like climbing (Mount) Everest, and we're not there yet ... and it's going to be fraught with problems and difficulty. But it's something we're not going to run from…" said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at the launch.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) first train unveiling video.
Ansaldo STS is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation and testing of signalling, traction electrification, communications, platform screen gates and other systems, including maintenance and recovery vehicles. Ansaldo STS is also responsible for the first 12 years of Operations and Maintenance of the system.
“Delivering the first train of this new, wonderful metro,” declared Maurizio Manfellotto, chief executive officer of Hitachi Rail Italy, “not only makes us proud of the work done, but also underscores the quality level reached by the company which I have the privilege to lead. We reached this goal thanks to the intellect of the women and men who work every day in our factories, with consistency and dedication, creating trains that deliver world-class performance.”
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