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Old November 25th, 2013, 12:22 AM   #141
desertpunk
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City Says Construction on Controversial Rail Project May Restart as Early as September



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Friday, August 30th, 2013

A year after a Hawaii State Supreme Court ruling halted construction on Honolulu's controversial $5.2 billion elevated steel on steel rail project, construction will likely resume in a matter of weeks, according to a statement issued Friday by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation represented native Hawaiian Paulette Kaleikini when she challenged the city's decision to begin construction before completing an archeological survey on the entire route.

The high court unanimously ruled last August that "it is undisputed that the rail project has a 'high' likelihood of having a potential effect on archeological resources...." and could impact the burials of Kaleikini’s ancestors and other native Hawaiians. They ordered the city to complete the archeological survey on the entire four segments before restarting the project.

HART maintains the surveys were completed in January in partnership with the Oahu Island Burial Council, and State Historic Preservation Division after workers excavated more than 400 trenches along the rail route as part of the archaeological study.

This week, the State Historic Preservation Division approved the archaeological survey report for the Honolulu rail transit project.

“This approval is a major step forward,” said HART Executive Director and CEO Daniel A. Grabauskas. “We are now working with the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting to submit the necessary permit applications to the City Council for their review and approval. Getting back to work after the year long legal delay is essential to completing the project on time and on budget ― that’s our goal.”

[...]

~ Work has resumed: http://www.khon2.com/news/work-resum...ransit-project

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Old November 27th, 2013, 06:37 AM   #142
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Perhaps they should have expanded on the existing subway.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:39 AM   #143
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New Engineer Takes Over Honolulu Rail Project

By Nick Grube
11/26/2013


A new contractor is taking over some of the oversight on Honolulu’s $5.26 billion rail project, and will be paid nearly $50 million to do so.

On Tuesday, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation awarded a contract to CH2M Hill, an international engineering firm, to replace Parsons Brinckerhoff.

CH2M Hill’s contract is expected to run through the end of construction of the 20-mile rail line, which is slated to be fully operational by 2019.

The company, whose headquarters are in Englewood, Colo., beat out Parsons Brinckerhoff and several other companies to win the $46.1 million contract with HART.

Parsons Brinckerhoff has signed nearly $500 million in engineering contracts with HART that dealt with major components of the rail project, including helping to develop the plan that allowed the city to bring in $1.55 billion in federal grant funds for rail. The company's current contract will end when the agreed-upon funding dries up, likely early next year.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by dwdwone View Post
Perhaps they should have expanded on the existing subway.
sarcasm?
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Old November 29th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #145
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Nice to see this project back on track!
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Old December 16th, 2013, 05:29 AM   #146
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Rail Agency alters train design [Subscription Req]

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When local transit officials started planning Oahu's elevated rail project, they envisioned a flexible system that could run trains of two, three and four cars from the instant the rail line started operating — a way to adjust to growing ridership and periods of greater demand.
However, after awarding a $1.4 billion contract in 2011 to Ansaldo Honolulu JV to design, build, operate and maintain that system, the local agency overseeing the rail project realized that's not what Oahu would get.


Instead, Ansaldo designed a rail system that would run only two-car trains. The city could eventually add more cars to those trains — but to do so the system would face weeks of extensive "service interruptions," according to documents obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Those documents, provided by a Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation consultant, show that HART and Ansaldo have locked horns over train configurations since at least August 2012.
HART officials say the two-car train system that Ansaldo designed was unacceptable. Under what the firm had proposed, "you might have to shut the line down for some time" to convert those trains to greater lengths, HART Deputy Director for Systems Rainer Hombach said Friday, although he said he didn't have an estimate on how much time.
For more than a year now, HART has quarreled with Ansaldo Honolulu, a joint venture of Italian-based firms AnsaldoBreda and AnsaldoSTS that beat out two other competitors vying for the massive scope of work, over whether the firm is complying with its contract.
Now, HART is moving ahead with a change to avoid any service shut-downs to convert the trains — and a plan that it thought would swiftly move the project past the dispute with Ansaldo.
It recently instructed the firm to build 20 four-car trains instead of the 40 two-car trains. Both approaches would use the same total number of rail cars (80). When they're built, Oahu's rail stations will be able to handle trains of up to four cars.
On Friday, Dan Grabauskas, HART's executive director, said the city should have just asked for the four-car train design from the start. Grabauskas, who joined HART in 2012, said he doesn't know why previous local rail leadership opted for two- and three-car trains as well.
But the change to four-car trains hasn't resolved the dispute, and HART and Ansaldo remain miles apart on the cost of those changes.
HART estimates switching to four-car trains will save the city some $20 million, which it wants Ansaldo to apply as credit in its contract for not creating a more flexible rail system.
Ansaldo disputes it owes a credit, and in a Sept. 27 report it estimated the change to four-car trains would actually cost the city more money — $4.2 million, due to added design, production and labor and other costs.
"We are just following the usual contract change process," Enrico Fontana, project manager for Ansaldo Honolulu JV, said in an email Friday. "Our top priority is to have engineers and vendors moving forward full steam, in order to deliver the first train as soon as the maintenance and storage facility (in) Waipahu is ready."
The firm will start building the trains in a few months, Fontana added. He did not respond to questions about the contract dispute, or the original two-car system Ansaldo had proposed.
With the two sides about $25 million apart, Grabauskas acknowledged that's a big gap, but he added HART regularly finds itself negotiating down contractors' price estimates on the project.
Grabauskas said he was confident the city would not pay Ansaldo any additional money to make the change.
"The contract was very clear. The city was adamant, and you bid that you were going to do two- and three- and four-" car trains, he said Friday. "That should be a credit to us. We've spent more than six months looking at this."
The move to four-car trains was also recently approved by federal transit officials under a federal $1.55 billion agreement to help Oahu's $5.26 billion rail project. The rest is covered by an Oahu general excise tax surcharge.
HART officials will update the board of directors on the four-car change on Thursday. Their presentation will include the $20 million HART expects to save — but not Ansaldo's approximately $4 million cost estimate, Grabauskas said.
ADDITIONALLY, QUESTIONS remain over how many riders Oahu's rail system would gain in its first decade of use with four-car trains compared to two-car trains.
HART has said the wait time for passengers would increase from 2.8 minutes with a two-car train to 5.6 minutes with a four-car train, but has also touted multiple advantages with going to four-car trains: The plan, Grabauskas says, will make more seats available and allow the system to work better for disabled passengers.
A Sept. 27 white paper supporting the plan estimates a net annual savings of up to $285,000 in operational costs — even after nearly $1 million in added energy and maintenance costs for running more cars and added wear-and-tear.
While several documents and correspondences by HART and their consultants have cited gains in ridership by switching to four-car trains, a HART project consultant who's helped oversee the trains' engineering during the past year called those ridership gains misleading.
The four-car trains would actually see 11 percent fewer new riders than if the system ran the two-car trains, said Mike Bogonovich, a systems engineer with HDR/InfraConsult.
Recently conducted ridership models from outgoing rail consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff show that 104,300 daily riders would use rail with a four-car train design in its opening year — compared to 117,000 daily riders on a two-car train design, according to several of Bogonovich's email exchanges with Parsons Brinckerhoff employees.
In 2030, the system would have 119,600 daily riders on four-car trains and 133,800 in two-car trains, those emails show.
"They should have reported that" when touting the four-car plan, Bogonovich said Friday. He further called HART's estimated operational savings "smoke and mirrors" unless Ansaldo agrees with them.
Bogonovich said he will be leaving the project at the end of the year to work for Los Angeles-based firm LTK Engineering Services. His departure from the Oahu rail project, Bogonovich added, was expected as his phase of the project came to an end.
Liz Scanlon, HART's director of planning, utilities and right of way, said she hasn't seen any such updated ridership numbers for the two-car trains. However, "it's fair to assume" there'd be more ridership gains with the two-car train design than the four-car model, Scanlon said Friday.
Grabauskas said it wasn't necessary to provide such an analysis to federal transit officials when seeking their approval for the plan. Even if a four-car train design won't net as many riders, the plan still makes sense overall, he said.
"What we needed to show was … the package of positives outweighed the decision," Grabauskas said Friday. "When we look at this, this was the right decision. There's no way this decision doesn't save us money."



Not sure what to think of this. On one hand, they have increased individual train capacity. On the other, headways are doubled (though still pretty frequent by most standards). Not to mention the anti-rail critics will just get louder whatever happens.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 06:04 AM   #147
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Longer trains for Honolulu's Rail Transit Line, huh? Not only would frequency be increased (from 3 minutes to between 5 and 6 minutes), but the proposed stations' platforms would have to be extended to accommodate the longer trains.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 06:21 AM   #148
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Actually, the stations were designed for 4-car trains since the inception of the project with ~240ft platforms, though what were (and still are) major criticisms are the elevated guideway and automation of the vehicles. The latter being a noted factor in the train-length debate with Ansaldo.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 12:59 PM   #149
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Honolulu Rail by Civil Beat, on Flickr
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Old January 21st, 2014, 03:21 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexarc View Post
Actually, the stations were designed for 4-car trains since the inception of the project with ~240ft platforms, though what were (and still are) major criticisms are the elevated guideway and automation of the vehicles. The latter being a noted factor in the train-length debate with Ansaldo.
Some more about those longer trains for the Honolulu Rail Transit Line:

The line was initially going to be served by trains with a length of 128 ft (39 m) and a capacity of 390 passengers w/ 72 seats. Now the trains will have a length of 256 ft (78 m) and a capacity of 780 passengers w/ 144 seats. This is based on the fact that each car has a length of 64 ft (20 m) long and has a total capacity of 195 people w/ 36 seats. I think the stations' platforms should have a length of 262 ft (80 m).
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Old January 21st, 2014, 08:14 AM   #151
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I understand what you are saying and somewhat agree. On the other hand the requirement HART gave was that the vehicle can open all doors onto the platform, regardless of the actual vehicle length. If my math is right, there is about 3.5m from the coupler to the edge of the first door according to this old thing (assuming that the body itself hasn't changed significantly). The 71m of a 4-car consist is still kinda pushing it for a 73m platform, but doable with today's automatic control.
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Old February 19th, 2014, 07:49 AM   #152
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Federal Courts Clear the Way for Completion of Rail Transit Project


In separate decisions announced today, two federal courts ruled that the Honolulu Rail Transit Project had done everything necessary to comply with applicable federal laws and is allowed to move forward.
A panel from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Oahu's elevated rail project complies with environmental, historic preservation, and other laws. And at the trial court level in the same case, Judge A. Wallace Tashima ruled that the project had looked at all alternatives regarding the rail route. Tashima also ruled that the project had properly considered and rejected a route involving an underground tunnel and ending at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus, as an alternative to the selected elevated route ending at Ala Moana Center.
Tashima also lifted an order blocking construction and most property acquisition activities in the City Center section of the project, which extends from Kalihi to Ala Moana Center.
HART CEO Dan Grabauskas stated, "We are pleased that both the Ninth Circuit panel and Judge Tashima ruled in our favor. These rulings reaffirm that we properly complied with the environmental process and studied all prudent alternatives. This is a great day not only for HART, but also for taxpayers of the City and County of Honolulu, who will be relieved to know we have finally come to the end of this costly legal battle."
Grabauskas added, "These rulings were essential to keeping the project moving so that we can complete all the necessary work, studies and property acquisitions in the City Center area. This will allow us to bring this project in, as promised, on time and on budget."

Related Documents:
Intermediate Court of Appeals Opinion (.pdf)
Distrct Court Ruling (.pdf)


Source: Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART)
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Old March 6th, 2014, 09:17 PM   #153
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On the 5th March, FTA announced list of 32 favorable transit projects for funding for 2015. Region's favored matched in red:

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image by dimlys46, on Flickr
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Old March 7th, 2014, 02:13 AM   #154
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If the Waikiki Extension and/or the U of H @ Manoa Extension should ever happen, would parts of the Ala Moana Shopping Mall be demolished to make way for the elevated tracks?
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Old March 7th, 2014, 09:17 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
If the Waikiki Extension and/or the U of H @ Manoa Extension should ever happen, would parts of the Ala Moana Shopping Mall be demolished to make way for the elevated tracks?
The original idea was that such extensions would be from a future second platform level and viaduct over the existing Neiman Marcus wing.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 01:35 PM   #156
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Why would adding more cars later result in weeks of shutdown? There are numerous examples in the world of adding more cars without any interruption to the system.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 04:10 AM   #157
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The line wouldn't completely shut down, but I'm guessing the fact that the nature of the semi-permanent coupling plus fully automatic operation requires both cars temporarily out of service and moderate reprogramming during the integration phase which would result in some service disruption.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 09:29 AM   #158
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Under what the firm had proposed, "you might have to shut the line down for some time" to convert those trains to greater lengths, HART Deputy Director for Systems Rainer Hombach said Friday, although he said he didn't have an estimate on how much time.
Here they said the line may have to be shut down for some time. Decoupling trains does not take too long. And system can be prepared in advance for the upgrade. Seems like they are too lazy to think for a better solution.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 04:22 PM   #159
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This whole thing makes no sense. The article in Post #141 includes the following:

The four-car trains would actually see 11 percent fewer new riders than if the system ran the two-car trains, said Mike Bogonovich, a systems engineer with HDR/InfraConsult.

Recently conducted ridership models from outgoing rail consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff show that 104,300 daily riders would use rail with a four-car train design in its opening year — compared to 117,000 daily riders on a two-car train design, according to several of Bogonovich's email exchanges with Parsons Brinckerhoff employees.

In 2030, the system would have 119,600 daily riders on four-car trains and 133,800 in two-car trains, those emails show."


Operating shorter trains at shorter headways is a major advantage permitted by automated operation. Making up four-car trains by coupling two two-car trains would allow for quickly adjusting capacity to meet demand without having to do a switching operation to allow cars to be added at the middle of the trains. There doesn't seem to be any good reason to switch to four-car trains for the initial opening.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Operating shorter trains at shorter headways is a major advantage permitted by automated operation. Making up four-car trains by coupling two two-car trains would allow for quickly adjusting capacity to meet demand without having to do a switching operation to allow cars to be added at the middle of the trains. There doesn't seem to be any good reason to switch to four-car trains for the initial opening.
Assuming the plan isn't to operate 4 cars at half the frequency. But what would be the point in an automatic system?
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