HART completes track modification to fix tight gage at five double crossovers

April 21, 2022
With the modification to the trackwork complete, the agency will begin running trial trains over the first segment of the rail system.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will soon begin running trial trains along the first segment of its rail system between East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium after a track modification project was completed in early April.

The project corrected tight track gage and weld modifications at five double crossovers on the alignment. The work was required after it was discovered last year flange bearing frogs at several crossings were showing signs of early wear. It was determined the railcar wheels were too narrow. HART, Jacobs and Transportation Technology Center, Inc., all worked on a plan to modify the frogs to allow operation of trains within an acceptable level of risk.

Morrison Metalweld Process Corporation performed the manganese welding; a move that required HART to obtain an exemption from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing Division because there were not local welders available to perform the specialty work. HART Director of Construction Matt Scanlon said using a mainland welding company resulted in “high-quality work executed in a timely manner on the five crossovers.” As welding work was under way, Hitachi Rail Honolulu maintenance crews and HART engineering and construction crews worked to adjust the track gage. The project began Feb. 28 and was completed April 8.

“It really took a team effort, a lot of people with specialized skill sets working together to collaborate on an overall solution for the project. Everyone was on board with the solution and the corrective action,” said Scanlon.

Now that track welding and gage modifications have been completed, HART will begin running trial trains for a minimum of 90 days between East Kapolei and Aloha Stadium. HART will test all aspects of the trains, stations, communication systems and train control systems before turning the first segment of the rail line over to the city of Honolulu.

“The high level of cooperation to solve these track issues and complete these modifications has allowed HART, together with its partners, to confidently move closer to our overall goal of initiating Trial Running and eventually handing the first segment of the system over to the city,” said HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.