It took eight months, but Honolulu finally has a signed deal to design, build, operate and maintain its planned rail system.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on Monday signed a $1.4 billion contract that was awarded in March. It said that months of “additional review” had showed that the Italian firm Ansaldo had the capacity to deliver on the contract successfully.

The “core systems” contract calls for Ansaldo Honolulu JV to put in place a rail system stretching from East Kapolei to Ala Moana. The company would be required to deliver 80 train cars, beginning in 2014 and the first section of the transit system — from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium — is expected to open in 2015.

The contract has overcome many objections and protests, with financial concerns involving parent company Finmeccanica causing increased scrutiny in recent weeks. The company owns 40 percent of Ansaldo STS and 100 percent of Ansaldo Breda, the two companies that make up the Honolulu joint venture. The CEO of Ansaldo STS, Sergio De Luca, met with HART officials on Friday to personally address financial and technical questions.

That face-to-face meeting cleared the way for the signing of the contract.

But the rail project still faces hurdles. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments this week in a lawsuit filed by opponents attempting to stop it.