Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Siemens lands Hawaiian transit electrification contract

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Ansaldo Honolulu Joint Venture has awarded the Rail Electrification business unit of Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector (which also includes Siemens Mobility) a contract to provide the electrification for Honolulu’s under-construction rail rapid transit system.

The Smart Grid Division of Siemens Rail Electrification will supply 14 750-volt DC-rectifier traction power substations and two bus-tie-breaker-gap substations. The order also includes emergency train stop equipment.

The Honolulu rapid transit system will be elevated and totally grade-separated, “allowing for faster, safer, and more reliable performance than alternatives built at ground level, but less expensive than an underground system,” according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART).

The system, Hawaii’s first, is scheduled to be completed in 2019. It will span 20 miles from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, with 21 stations, among them Pearl Harbor and Honolulu Airport. HART figures from say that if rail transit is not put into operation by 2030, “the number of car trips per day will increase by 40,000 on Honolulu’s highways and streets. Rail will reduce daily traffic by approximately 30,000 vehicles and decrease delays due to congestion by an estimated 18%. It is also projected that approximately 10,000 jobs will be created as a result of the construction.”

“Cities everywhere are suffering from increasing traffic congestion,” said Siemens Rail Electrification CEO Mirko Dusel. “This has a negative impact on the environment and the economy. Honolulu is a great example of how new rail transit systems can counter these effects and improve the quality of life for residents.”

“The big picture for the Smart Grid division is improved energy delivery, informed consumption, and reduced environmental impact,” said Smart Grid Division-United States President Thierry Godart. “Rail projects like Honolulu’s deliver on these goals, helping to create energy-efficient, eco-friendly solutions while at the same time directly alleviating problems experienced by people in the community.”