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New Orleans - October 2006
   

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New Orleans — St. Charles Comeback

Rail Transit Online, October 2006 

A nine-block portion of the historic St. Charles streetcar line, devastated last year by Hurricane Katrina, could be back in service by year’s end.  The traction power system, including the overhead wiring, is being replaced along the entire route under a program that was approved prior to the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane, which destroyed much of the infrastructure.  “We're hoping that if things go smoothly we'll have cars running along the stretch of St. Charles from Canal Street to Lee Circle,” Regional Transit Authority spokeswoman Rosalind Blanco Cook told The Associated Press.   “The rest of the line (to Carrollton Station) won't be ready before the end of 2007.”  However, the RTA may not have enough cars to operate both the Canal Street line, which has already been restored, and the St. Charles route,  All but one of the replica vintage streetcars built for Canal service plus six Riverfront Line units were flooded and heavily damaged.  Cook told RTOL that reconstruction of the cars — 24 for Canal and six for Riverfront — is ready to begin in the Carrollton Shops under the supervision of veteran streetcar expert Elmer von Dullen and some of them could be ready by the end of next year if funding is received soon.  “RTA has submitted all the necessary paperwork to FEMA,” said Cook, but is still waiting for a response.  Von Dullen said 142 days were needed by his shop forces to assemble each of the modern Canal cars, and it will probably take that long to rebuild them. 

 

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