United Streetcar – Completes Production Facilities
Rail Transit Online, March 2011
Three key operational areas for the production of American-made streetcars have been completed by United Streetcar at its Clackamas, Oregon, plant. The facilities include a 43,000-sq. ft. (4,000 sq. meter) assembly bay, a 3,100-ft. (945 meter) test track and a 6,400-sq. ft. (595 sq. meter) environmental, functional and water testing bay. A dedication ceremony held on Mar. 21 was attended by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and a large group of local elected officials.
United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, has already built a prototype car for Portland's TriMet based on a Czech design but
with 70-percent domestic component content. The company has contracts for 13 production cars, six for Portland and seven for Tucson, which will contain approximately 90-percent U.S.-made parts, according to United Streetcar President Chandra Brown.
During a news conference, Brown stressed the importance of state and federal funding to kick-start the project. 'We would not be here today without the help of the federal government ... It is absolutely possible to do a successful private/public partnership." LaHood praised the company's efforts to revive streetcar production in the U.S. after almost 60 years, declaring that "Streetcars have caught on in America."