What happens if the Honolulu Rail derails?

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — What would happen if a portion of the Honolulu Rail derailed?

Emergency officials held an exercise to answer that very question on Saturday, Oct. 22 and simulated the response to a crisis with dozens of passengers onboard.

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Two fire engines and ladders, one rescue team, a battalion chief and 35 total personnel from the Honolulu Fire Department responded to the simulated derailment.

Medical services — including Emergency Medical Services, American Medical Response and the Federal Fire Department — sent 12 ambulances and an EMS bus while 10 police officers maintained security and traffic control.

No one wants a derailment, but training for the exercise has been years in the making.

“We started training our personnel back in 2020, late 2020. During the COVID shutdowns, we trained over 1,000 of our personnel,” said HFD battalion chief Joseph Kostiha. “It’s been a number of years and finally it came and went and I felt it was a huge success.”

One of the first steps in a derailment would be to cut the power before first responders get on the tracks, but the entire rail will not be shut down just because one section is turned off.

“It would shut down the section that was involved. In this scenario, it was the end of the rail, so that would be the only one,” said Roger Morton, Department of Transportation Services director. “But the system would continue to operate and