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Washington - July 2011

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Washington, DC ― Streetcars Delayed a Year

Rail Transit Online, July 2011

The city's first new streetcar line won't be running until the fall of 2013 at the earliest, according to new estimates from the D.C. Department of Transportation. I think it's just really a matter of ... the construction time
frame needed to complete all of the work," DoT spokesman John Lisle told The Washington Post. "2012 was the ambition ... but, given what's left to be done, that's not going to be realistic."

Much of the first segment will run along H Street NE, where track installation as part of a road reconstruction project is almost complete. The next phase will be a design-build contract for traction power equipment and a maintenance facility, contracts for which could be awarded later this year. "The goal is to start building early next year," Lisle told WTOP Radio News. The city will also seek bids this summer for three more streetcars to add to the three already purchased in the Czech Republic and stored at WMATA's Greenbelt rail yard.

Meanwhile, tracks have already been laid for another line in Anacostia along Firth Sterling Avenue Southeast from Suitland Parkway to South Capitol Street, with planning now underway for an extension to the 11th Street Bridge.

The Anacostia route was to have opened first as a demonstration project but that has now been delayed to 2014 or later, after the H Street line is completed. The city's original streetcar system was scrapped in 1962 but officials led by Mayor Vincent Gray are now planning to resurrect much of it as part of a new 37-mi. (59.5 km), $1.5-billion network.


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