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Washington - May 2008

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Washington, DC ― Czech Streetcars Ready

Rail Transit Online, May 2008

Three modern Czech-made streetcars purchased by the city of Washington for the proposed 1.3-mi. (2.1 km) Anacostia Demonstration Streetcar Project have been completed but can't be shipped because work on the project's right-of-way has yet to start. The double-articulated cars, similar to those running in Portland and Tacoma, cost $10 million and were ordered three years ago from Skoda-Inekon.

The four-station route will start at Bolling Air Force Base and run along Firth Sterling Avenue and South Capitol Street to the Anacostia Metro station. On Apr. 25, after years of delay, the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced it "...is preparing to begin construction ... to initiate the return of streetcars to the District of Columbia."

The city's Office of Contracting and Procurement, on behalf of DDOT, has issued an Invitation for Bid "...seeking a contractor to provide all labor, materials and equipment for the construction of the Anacostia Initial Line Segment and the Operation and Maintenance Facility, and reconstruction of Firth Sterling Avenue." Bids are due to be opened on June 6, 2008.
The project has been primarily slowed by route changes; originally, the tracks were to be placed on an abandoned CSX right-of-way. Meanwhile, the three streetcars are exercised regularly on the tram system in Plzen, where they were manufactured, although no passengers are being carried.



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