Streetcars belong: Even in the U.S.

They’re coming. They’re actually now being built, not just planned, not just proposed. Streetcar lines are back.

From Railway Age;

Streetcars are still under the radar for most railroad folks, perhaps understandably, given the fledgling nature of the mode in the U.S. The lines established and under construction, are small in scope and distance. Ditto the streetcar order sizes, in the single digits.

seattle streetcarBut the growth, the seeding, of U.S. streetcar activity is there. We’re seeing it here at Railway Age as we compile our January Passenger Railcar Outlook. We’re seeing it, too, as we report on and monitor town after city that moves to reinstate, reinstall, resurrect streetcar service across the country, red state or blue state an irrelevant distinction.

During the week of Dec. 10, 2012, it was Kansas City making the commitment (or, if you’re a skeptic or cynic, taking the plunge). It’s following a host of other cities, including (but not necessarily limited to) Arlington, Va., Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Milwaukee, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Tex., and Santa Ana, Calif., committing to building a streetcar line.

That list doesn’t include those already building new lines (Tucson, Cincinnati, even Washington, D.C.) during 2012, nor those older (older! But it’s all relative, I guess) streetcar champions in the Pacific Northwestai??i??Tacoma, Seattle (shown above), and of course Portland, or exploring add-ons to their current lines. Portland and Seattle, in particular, are forging ahead in creating streetcar systems, not just a line, and integrating those streetcars into “bigger brother” mode light rail transit.

Ai??Here’s hoping all the friends & supporters of Rail for the Valley and also Translink & Vancouver Engineer’s department had a great festive season.

The Cardinal wishes you all a happy & prosperous 2013 – just remember street Tramways are the way!

… A toast to 2013Ai??- shiny rails in VancouverAi??–

Leave A Comment