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Philadelphia - September 2003
   

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Philadelphia  –  Ready for Route 15

Rail Transit Online, September 2003

Final preparations are underway for the return of streetcars early next year to SEPTA Route 15 along Girard Avenue from Overbrook to Fishtown in North Philadelphia.  A Kawasaki light rail vehicle is being used to check out the refurbished tracks and traction power system pending receipt of 18 PCC cars being rebuilt and upgraded by the Brookville Equipment Co. in central Pennsylvania.  The first completed unit was scheduled for delivery in May but delays in the refurbishing program have moved the schedule back.  “At his point we are still rebuilding them,” SEPTA spokesman Jim Whitaker told Star Publications in early August.  We expected that the first one will be ready early this fall.”  The PCCs will be very different from their original configuration, with wheelchair lifts and air conditioning added along with other passenger amenities.  The first car should be on the street for testing in late fall or early winter after some additional track and street work is completed.  PCC service on Route 15 ended in 1992 because, according to Whitaker, the rolling stock and right-of-way was in poor condition.  “We did not have the funding at that point to purchase the new cars or change the infrastructure,” he told Star Publications.  “We said we would not take down the infrastructure and we would look to restore trolley service at some point in the future.

 

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