Siemens announced it has received a multimillion dollar order from Ansaldo Honolulu, a joint venture, to electrify the track for the new Honolulu rail transit system.

A first for the state, it is scheduled to be completed in 2019. It will span 20 miles with 21 stations along the route, including Pearl Harbor and the Honolulu Airport. Siemens will supply 14 traction power direct current rectifier substations at 750 volts and two tie breaker gap substations. It also will supply the emergency stop equipment at the metro depot and all stops.

The Honolulu rail transit system will be elevated, allowing for faster, safer and more reliable performance than alternatives built at ground level that are less expensive than an underground system. According the U.S. Department of Energy, rail is more energy-efficient than single-occupant cars and trucks, consuming 37 percent less energy per passenger-mile.

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

Siemens Infrastructure & Cities will handle the electrification of Hawaii’s first light rail transit system. The line will run alongside Honolulu’s 32-kilometer main arterial road from the East Kapolei district via Pearl Harbor and the airport to the Ala Moana district in the west.