Memphis — Streetcar Service Suspended
The president of the Memphis Area Transit Authority [MATA] vows that the heritage trolley system – suspended earlier this week following two fires that destroyed 'W" class ex-Melbourne trams – will return, Memphis Business Journal reports. The decision to suspend service was taken after a peer review group comprised of members of the APTA Streetcar Subcommittee completed a full week review of the system's status and operating procedures.
The MATA president, Tom Fox, said that the review showed that the cars in the Memphis fleet need to be reviewed individually to determine what work they require to be operated safely. Once the assessments are complete a decision can be made whether to rebuild or replace the cars.
In an earlier article, the Business Journal said the cost of renewing the heritage streetcar fleet could range from $6 million to $37.5 million, based on preliminary estimates.
The low estimate, $6 million, is if MATA overhauls the current trolleys for $400,000 each.
MATA could also buy reproduction heritage trolleys for about $700,000 each, a total of $10.5 million, or buy new modern streetcars for $2.5 million each.
MATA hopes to get part of the line back in service in three to six months if the condition analysis shows tht at least five cars can be made available.