Fix Oahu Now! Panos Prevedouros for Mayor of Honolulu

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FEIS for Rail - Is the Rail Guide-Way Protected from Terrorism?

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Rail project on Oahu is a required step in a long chain of steps. It is not, in itself, complete approval for the project, or it wouldn't be at the Governor's desk awaiting signature.

There is an aspect on Rail that is hardly ever mentioned. The risk to terrorism. My car hardly would attract the attention of a terrorist group. I feel much safer in it, than standing up inside a "modern" Rail train.

Does the FEIS cover this subject? Here is a copy of the FEIS Abstract. Note that security issues are not mentioned specifically in the Abstract:

If the financial implications of construction and operation are already evaluated,.... why are they being re-evaluated by the Governor? Who will re-evaluate the security risks?

The Rail system proposed for Honolulu is not merely a street-car type of rail, but it is a train that runs on steel rails. Not only is it a train travelling up to 55 m.p.h., but it is proposed to run on elevated guide-ways. The slippery nature of steel-on-steel trains requires the construction of the elevated guide-ways. In rainy days this type of steel-on-steel train can only be built to climb inclines of 2% grade, or less, according to Dr. Panos. Therefore, elevated guide-ways, though expensive, becomes a must - just what terrorists would like...



Does the FEIS prepare us?

Trains attract the attention of terrorists and other militant groups within a country, because latter train-cars are drastically affected upon bombing one. Surrounded by metal, passengers standing in the aisles are very vulnerable. Even a bus loading passengers at the subway station was bombed in London.

Since terrorist attacks produce a lot of publicity for the attackers, the solution becomes the problem...

"... Your democratically elected governments continually
perpetrate atrocities against my people all over the
world. Your support makes you directly responsible. We
are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the
reality of this situation,..."

Some examples of train bombings or plots:

England Tube & Bus: 52 dead (+4 terrorist bombers)

It only happens in Europe?
Aborted plot: USA. New York City, subway; Scheduled for Sept. 14, 15 or 16/ 2009. Some explosives had been prepared by 3 Al-Qaeda terrorists. FBI found out in time.

Terrorists come in various types:
Two female suicide bombers attacked the Moscow subways (Mar. 2010), killing 40 people and wounding scores of others in the Russian capital.

Pictures, anyone?
Russia. Train 2009: outdoors - 29 dead

Spain 2004: Political. Not terrorist related, but 191 dead

And even a non-terrorist was gunned down and killed as terrorist:
Suspect Shot --- Death of Jean Charles de Menezes
Armed police shoot man dead on London Underground
Police shot and killed a Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, at Stockwell tube station shortly after 10:00 on 22 July [2005]. Officers had pursued de Menezes from a location under surveillance, believing him to be one of the men wanted for the attacks of the previous day. They apparently believed de Menezes, who was claimed to be wearing a heavy jacket – later shown to be an ordinary denim jacket – was a possible suicide bomber.
Police later confirmed he was not related to the bombing incidents and issued an apology, saying that "For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets."

Sad stories, unfortunately very real.

A long, continuous elevated Rail guide-way, 5 stories high, might look "modern", but were it to be terrorized (hopefully not), quick emergency care for the injured would be very difficult. And it would require a large crane to remove damaged cars from the rails, so service can continue. This maneuver would block traffic underneath. The event would draw National and International publicity - yet this is the reward for terrorist organizations.

With guide-ways passing near high-rises, a home-made bomb could possibly be thrown onto the top of a passing train. Or a large truck filled with explosives possibly crashed onto a guide-way column. An FEIS should show an appropriate security system to protect riders from such terrorist acts, and how much this security is expected to cost as part of the maintenance of the system. It's better to be prepared, than to be sorry.

By definition, terrorists attack where they are least expected...

(Remember Pearl Harbor).

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