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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 2:48 PM
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DC's new streetcar

Washington, DC has very ambitious streetcar plans. There are two lines currently under construction, with another 10 in various stages of planning and set to open over the next decade. Our first batch of streetcar vehicles has been delivered, and this week the city is making one of them available to the public.

Forumer 202_Cyclist attended the mayor's ceremony kicking off the event, where he took some excellent pictures that everyone should look at.

I missed the ceremony, but dropped by a few hours later to see the streetcar. Here are my pictures:

Overview of the streetcar LRV. It is the same model that Portland and Seattle use.





The staging area offered a better view of the front of the streetcar.





Back to the front of the exhibit. The other two vehicles you see on either side of the streetcar are DC Circulator buses. The city put them out as well for fun.





They also put out a few of our bike-sharing bikes. Why not.



Cute play on the DC flag.



Interior.





Here is a map of the streetcar system and its construction status. This doesn't include another couple of lines in Virginia.

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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 4:25 PM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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Great photos Cirrus (Dan), I didn't know Metro went to red! (great color and reminds me of the San Diego transit color). Its better than the faded blue that I recall on the buses back in 2000 (of course the Metro rail cars where always nice).

Scott
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 4:29 PM
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These aren't Metro, these are DC DOT. Different agency.
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 4:37 PM
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[QUOTE][Overview of the streetcar LRV. It is the same model that Portland and Seattle use./QUOTE]

There was some good-natured rivalry between Adrian Fenty and Rep. Blumenauer over whether PDX or DC will have the better streetcar system.
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 4:39 PM
LAsam LAsam is offline
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The US is late to the light rail party... but we are definately firing on all cylinders now! Exciting to see light rail becoming a facet of all our major cities.
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 5:00 PM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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Quote:
These aren't Metro, these are DC DOT. Different agency.
Oh ok, thanks..

Scott
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 6:07 PM
ue ue is offline
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That looks fantastic. It's nice to see more and more of these being used in more and more cities. They're nice and similar to buses (operate in traffic) but feel superior in ways. Congrats DC. Great pics.
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 7:10 PM
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i had no idea this was in the works. makes me love dc even more. with this playing off of the metro dc may have some of the best transit in the country. everyone knows it does not touch new york but considering dc's population, i think on a per capita basis it is pretty damn close. that is some great coverage.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 6, 2010, 8:04 PM
novawolverine novawolverine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAsam View Post
The US is late to the light rail party... but we are definately firing on all cylinders now! Exciting to see light rail becoming a facet of all our major cities.
We are late to the light rail party, which is what the Purple Line is, . But we have heavy rail as well, which is why we didn't need light rail, and we had a streetcar years ago, and buses eventually replaced them. But I think having light rail and the streetcar definitely do help considering upgrading the heavy rail is expensive and/or unfeasible.
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Old Posted May 6, 2010, 8:25 PM
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Damn.

DC rules when it comes to transit progressive-ness. Maybe I should move back there..
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  #11  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 8:18 PM
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I live just two blocks from Benning Road and everyone is waiting patiently for these things. They have reved up construction the last couple months it seems as well.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 8:35 PM
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jealous.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 9:38 PM
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Looks familiar! How many miles does D.C. have planned or in the pipline? (not including Virginia)
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  #14  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 9:55 PM
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Nice!

Is a streetcar the same as a light rail?
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  #15  
Old Posted May 7, 2010, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
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Nice!

Is a streetcar the same as a light rail?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_r...tcars_or_trams
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Old Posted May 7, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleystreetindustry View Post
jealous.
tru dat!

At least, jealous of all the new lines getting built. The streetcars themselves look a bit short to me. Decent interiors and exteriors, but won't the size be a limiting factor? Sure, you can couple them into longer trains, but longer ones take more people over the same total length. Otoh, it IS a starter line as more lines get built and ridership goes up new vehicles will be acquired.
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Old Posted May 8, 2010, 12:51 AM
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What will they do about catenary in the Capitol District? The original streetcar system took power from a third rail beneath a slot between the tracks (looked like a cable car slot) because overhead wires were prohibited in the Capitol District. Does that statute still stand?
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  #18  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 1:08 AM
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The planned streetcar system for DC is 37 miles. That doesn't count VA or MD lines, nor Metro extensions, nor suburban light rail, all of which are also in the works. 37 miles of central city streetcar only.

The overhead wire ban still stands, but is almost certain to be overturned. The likely solution will be hybrid trams that use wires for most of their length, but go on battery when crossing certain important view planes.

These LRVs are fairly short because they will be for a relatively low-ridership line, and because they were purchased in bundle with Portland and Seattle, who only wanted shorter trams. When it comes time to order more trams for the more heavy-ridership routes, the city may well go with longer vehicles.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 1:54 AM
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I don't suppose one of our DC residents could go out and snap some photos along H Street/Benning Road as well as Anacostia to show us the areas that will be serviced by streetcars?
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  #20  
Old Posted May 8, 2010, 2:42 AM
TinChelseaNYC TinChelseaNYC is offline
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I wish NYC would think about doing this on 1st & 2d Avenues, and maybe even 9th. Instead we get an overpriced subway that doesn't even make that many stops and the eventual "planned" route won't happen in my lifetime, all the way down to Chatham Square. Anyway, it's a good way to keep people coming downtown. DC must definitely have a good transportation system to stay alive. Smart. Lots of options and convenience. Or am I speaking out of turn? LOL! I went to college there, but things might have changed. I loved the bus and metro system then. I didn't have a car and could get anywhere I wanted to go. I lived at Wisconsin and Macomb. Good times!
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