Hawaii's first rail rapid transit system is due to be built in Honolulu by 2019. Siemens Infrastructure & Cities has received a multi-million US dollar order to electrify the entire track. The customer is the Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture. The Joint Venture is made up of Ansaldo STS and Ansaldo Breda – the transport segment of the Finmeccanica group, one of Italy's largest industrial corporations. The new rail rapid transit system will run alongside Honolulu's 32-kilometer long main arterial road, which is being stretched to the limit with current levels of automobile traffic. The rail rapid transit system will provide much needed relief and connect the East Kapolei district in the west with the Ala Moana district in the east, taking in Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Airport.
"Cities everywhere are suffering from increasing traffic congestion. The acute traffic problem in urban conurbations not only has a negative impact on the quality of people's lives, but also on the economy. The example of Honolulu shows how new rail rapid transit systems can be used to counter these effects in a practical fashion," says Mirko Düsel, CEO of the Rail Electrification Business Unit in the Siemens Smart Grid Division. Siemens will be handling the complete electrification of the first railway line in Honolulu, Hawaii which is scheduled to enter service in 2019. The line runs for 32 kilometers and includes 21 stations from the East Kapolei district in the west to the Ala Moana district in the east of Honolulu. When completed, the rail rapid transit system will cater for around 100,000 passengers a day. Siemens Infrastructure & Cities will supply 14 rectifier substations with a traction voltage of 750 volts as well as two tie substations. The order also includes the emergency stop equipment at the metro depot and at the stops on the line.
Figures from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) reveal that traffic volumes are set to rise by up to 40,000 automobiles a day by 2030. According to HART, the number of vehicles on the main route would fall by around 30,000 vehicles a day thanks to the new rail rapid transit line. Referred to the U.S. Department of Energy, rail is more energy-efficient than single-occupant cars and trucks, consuming 37 percent less energy per passenger-mile.
Energy-efficient, eco-friendly solutions for the rail electrification are part of Siemens' Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2011, revenue from the portfolio totaled nearly 30 billion euros, making Siemens one of the world's largest suppliers of eco-friendly technologies. In the same period, the company's products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 320 million tons, an amount equal to the total annual CO2 emissions of Berlin, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.