Oklahoma City, OK — Inekon to Build Streetcars
According to the newsok.com site, the Czech rolling stock manufacturer Inekon will be building Oklahoma City's new streetcars. The contract calls for the first of five streetcars to be delivered in the fall of 2017 and the last by spring 2018.
The cars will be essentially identical to cars currently being delivered to Seattle, for use on that city's second modern streetcar route, the First Hill Line. However those deliveries are running more than a year late. Oklahoma City hopes to avoid similar manufacturing problems, which people familiar with the matter say were due to efforts to manufacture some of the First Hill streetcars in Europe and some in the Seattle area. Production in the U.S. was due to "Buy America" regulations which come along with FTA funding for the project. As Oklahoma City is building their project with local funding, their streetcars can be built more efficiently at Inekon's home factory in the Czech Republic, but Inekon will face $1500 per day charges for late delivery.
The 4.6-mile Oklahoma City route will link Midtown and
Bricktown via a loop through the central business district. Streetcars will run on batteries, or "off-wire," to cross under the BNSF Railway viaduct as they enter and leave Bricktown. One goal is to extend off-wire capability to more parts of the route.
Project planners hope to start service on the new line by mid-2018. Design of the maintenance facility is underway, route design is nearly two-thirds complete and the city to about to receive proposals to supply rails and switches, according to project officials.