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Honolulu rail track fixes allow for the next phase of testing

A segment of the Honolulu rail in October 2021.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit
A segment of the Honolulu rail in October 2021.

The agency that oversees the city’s rail project says it has fixed a problem with its train tracks. That solution should open the way for the next phase of testing the system.

The problem involved five points at which tracks crossed over, what’s known in the industry as “frogs.” Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation officials said the wheels on its trains were too narrow to safely run through the frogs.

Their solution was to adjust the track gauge with specialized manganese welding, but officials found there were no local companies capable of doing the work.

HART brought in a mainland firm, Morrison Metalweld Process Corporation, to perform the work, which lasted from late February to April 8.

HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina says with the frogs repaired, the city is poised to begin an intensive phase of testing — the final step before HART turns the first segment of the system over to the city.

If trial testing on the first segment, running from East Kapolei to Aloha Stadium, is satisfactory over a minimum 90-day period, the city could then look to finally open it to the public.

Scott Kim was a news editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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