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Portland - July 2009

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Portland — U.S.-Built Streetcar Formally Unveiled

Rail Transit Online, July 2009

New US Streetcar

The prototype of a new generation of U.S.-made streetcars was formally unveiled on July 1 by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Gov. Ted Kulongoski and other elected officials. The double-articulated model 10 T3, a near-copy of the Czech-made Skoda 10 T, was manufactured by the United Streetcar subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OIW) in Clackamas, Oregon, and is now undergoing testing on the tracks of the Portland Streetcar.

"By investing in streetcars, like the one we're seeing today, we can reduce our carbon pollution, end our dependence on oil, and finally begin the process of rebuilding and renewing America," said Blumenauer, a long-time streetcar advocate. After the ceremony, the VIP party was given a ride into downtown Portland on the new streetcar.

On his blog, Secretary LaHood said an American-made streetcar is a dream come true. "You know, it hasn't been easy to fund streetcars in this country," said LaHood, who later toured the OIW manufacturing facility. "But, what I saw in Portland today has impressed me. As I told the folks at Oregon Iron Works, I'm committed to seeing that the streetcar program can be funded with federal dollars."

United Streetcar has tentative orders for 13 additional cars, six for Portland and seven for Tucson, Arizona. The prototype, with 70-percent domestic content, was financed with a $4-million federal grant, although OIW said it invested several million dollars of its own money in the project.



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