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Heritage Trolley Site
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New Orleans - December 2003

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New Orleans — Streetcar Delayed

Rail Transit Online, December 2003  

The return of streetcars to Canal Street has been delayed by at least three months to allow completion of street and sidewalk repairs and the installation of new landscaping.  The Regional Transit Authority had scheduled a ceremony on Dec. 6 to mark restoration of the 3.1-mi. (5 km) route and had hinted that replica heritage streetcars would start carrying passengers before the end of November (see RTOL, Oct. 2003).  The first trolley ran the length of Canal Street under its own power on Oct. 2, and testing has since progressed with only minor glitches (see RTOL, Nov. 2003).  “The system works now,” RTA Chairman James Reiss told The Times-Picayune on Nov. 17. “But the overall project is not finished to either my or management's satisfaction.  When we do officially open, we want this entire system and its surroundings to look like a polished gem.  We want every blade of grass, every tree, every piece of sidewalk and street in place.  This is a world-class project and we want it to look world class.  And right now it's not.”  Still to be finished is a complete resurfacing of Canal Street.  The delay, to sometime in March, could have at least one positive side effect: The one-mile (1.6 km) branch on North Carrollton Avenue from Canal Street to City Park will have been completed and could be opened the same day.  Inauguration of the Canal Street line was originally set for Oct. 11 but rainy weather last summer delayed construction crews.  The project remains within its $161-million budget.

Web site: www.canalstreetcar.com/index.html


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