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Editorial | Island Voices

Ansaldo ready to bring its rail experience to Hawaii


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Is Ansaldo Honolulu the right team to bring a state-of-the-art driverless rail system to Hono- lulu? That is the question on the minds of many since the city’s selection and Mayor Peter Carlisle’s announcement of the "core systems" contract for the new Hono- lulu rail system — and the answer is, yes, it is.

 Ansaldo Honolulu, a joint venture between Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda, is the worldwide leader in driverless, unattended metro systems that connect neighborhoods to neighborhoods, just like the system planned for Honolulu.

To date, the Ansaldo team has commissioned or is building eight driverless systems across Europe and Asia, the first of which was the Copenhagen Metro, which went into revenue service in October 2002.

Since then, not only has the Copenhagen Metro won numerous awards for Best Metro and Best Driverless Metro, but according to studies by the Danish Transport Research Institute, the system has fostered growth and expansions to areas of the city that were previously desolate.

Beyond that, the companies that comprise the Ansaldo Honolulu team have impressive legacies in the U.S. and abroad, and even call Honolulu home with a strong partnership with a local company, Watts Constructors.

In 1881, storied industrialist and entrepreneur George Westinghouse founded the Union Switch and Signal Company. Today, the company is known as Ansaldo STS USA, the American arm of the Italian-based Ansaldo STS. With more than 4,500 patents to its name, the Ansaldo STS USA still pioneers innovative solutions for the rail transportation industry. Additionally, since integrating into the Ansaldo group in 1988 and creating a combined history that spans more than 260 years, the Ansaldo STS team has grown to a team of over 4,300 expert minds in 28 countries around the world, all focused on the safe, efficient and cost-effective solution for rail transportation.

Even more impressive is the fact that more than 50 percent of all high-speed rail signaling systems had participation from Ansaldo STS. Many of these lines are also equipped with high-speed trains from AnsaldoBreda.

AnsaldoBreda’s legacy extends back 150 years to when it was founded in Italy, and it includes an impressive record of vehicles in cities around the world. From 2001 through 2009, AnsaldoBreda built and sold more than 1,200 cars throughout the world, many to countries that have a long history with, and are been dependent on rail transportation.

AnsaldoBreda made its U.S. debut in 1978, and today has provided light and heavy rail vehicles to cities across the U.S., including Washington, D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles and Cleveland.

Ultimately, all companies face challenges, but the true testament of worth can be found in a company’s ability to stay focused on its objectives — in this case, safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness — and to continue to satisfy its customers with products and systems that exceed expectations.

Ansaldo Honolulu is ready to do just that for the people that live, work and play in Honolulu.

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Editor’s note: Ansaldo Honolulu recently won a $1.4 billion city rail transit contract: $574 million to design and build, $823 million for operations and maintenance. See articles at www.staradvertiser.com via search word “ansaldo.”

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