Little Rock — First Car Tested
Rail Transit Online, January 2003
The first of
three replica heritage streetcars for the River Rail line was tested on Dec.
11 and 12 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The air-conditioned, lift-equipped
trolleys are being supplied by Gomaco of Ida Grove, Iowa, and are based on
the double-truck Birney cars which operated in the Little Rock area up to
1947, the last of which was numbered 407. The new series starts with No.
408, which will be the first car delivered to the Central Arkansas Transit
Authority (CATA). In addition to Gomaco engineers, project consultant Jim
Graebner of Lomarado Associates and Paul Pool, CATA's Project Manager,
monitored the tests. Also on hand to observe were CATA's Director of
Transportation Murray Gillerson, Maintenance Supervisor Tom Johnson and
David Lumbert of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. The
initial runs were considered very successful and only minor changes and
modifications will be necessary. The car will be shipped to the North
Little Rock maintenance facility upon its completion, scheduled for late
spring. Revenue service on the 2.2-mi. (3.5 km) line connecting the
downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock should begin in mid-2004.