Streetcar Systems- Louisiana
St. Charles Line- 7 mi.
Line- 4.7 mi.
Line- 2 mi.
stops every two blocks
24 hrs. daily
John Smatlak, except as noted
Down for Latest Updates-
addition to being a world renown tourist destination, New Orleans
also operates one of the country's largest Vintage Trolley systems. The
system consists of a surviving "legacy" line from the city's
original streetcar network, a new line serving riverfront tourist
destinations, and the reconstruction of another of its most famous
In the summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated
portions of the City, also rendering its fleet of newly-built replica
inoperable. Fortunately, the 35 original heritage cars
survived relatively unscathed, and this group of cars has been used to
incrementally return all of the lines to operation. In 2008, rebuilding
of the damaged replica car fleet began, and RTA plans to continue to
increase service levels as demand and resources allow.
standardized with the RTA bus system; $1.25 base fare with transfers
additional 25 cents. Multi-day tourist passes are also sold through
various outlets. The following sections present the history of the three
lines, although information regarding service levels represents
Orleans' St. Charles Streetcar Line is the world's oldest continuously operated electric
railway line. Electric operation began in 1893, when streetcars took over after 20 years of horsecar operation. In 1922,
operation of all New Orleans streetcar lines was taken over by New Orleans
Public Service Inc., or NOPSI for short. In 1923, the current streetcars,
designed and built by the Perley Thomas Car Company of High Point, North
Carolina, were introduced. Beginning in the 1930s, streetcar service in the
Crescent City followed the national trend of gradually diminishing
service, with rubber-tired vehicles coming into favor as replacements.
With the closing of the Canal St. Line in 1964, the St. Charles Line
became New Orleans sole surviving streetcar line, and 11 of the cars were sold off, many ending up in railway museums
around the country.
In 1973, the St. Charles Line and the remaining fleet of
35 Perley Thomas cars received national recognition when they were named to the
National Register of Historic Places. In 1983, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) completed the
buyout of NOPSI, one of the last urban transit systems in the US to be
transferred from private to public ownership. Between 1988 and 1992,
RTA completed a $47 million renovation of the St. Charles Line, including
a complete rebuilding of all 35 streetcars and the Carrollton maintenance facility.
Route: The line extends
approximately 7 miles, the majority of which is in a center median on
St. Charles Ave., with about 10 blocks of street running in mixed traffic
to connect with Canal St. in the Central Business District. There
are a total of 52 stops. All of
the center median track is covered with grass flush with the top of
the rails. Known locally as "neutral ground", the
resulting right-of-way is quite attractive, and is frequented by
joggers and other pedestrians (most of whom know to walk or jog against the flow of
streetcar traffic). Combined with the tree-lined streets and an abundance
of extraordinary historic homes and other buildings, this is truly one of the most
interesting streetcar rides in North America. Cross streets are frequent,
however, and the streetcar operators have to be constantly vigilant for
motorists turning across the tracks.
Operation: The St.
Charles Line is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
on headways varying from 6 minutes during rush hours to 1 hour during the
late night and early morning. Service
exclusively by the fleet of 35 1920's era Perley Thomas cars. The 35 car fleet is not ADA compliant,
having been grandfathered in by special legislative action that permitted its
continued use as part of the historic St. Charles streetcar line. As a result, RTA can not add more 1920's era cars to this
Although the streetcars are now more than 75 years
old, one should not assume that the St. Charles Line is a
"museum" type operation. Quite the opposite is true- it's a real
transit operation, hauling
some 20,000 daily commuters and visitors. To endure the constant start
/stop workout these cars receive every day, they must be in
kept in top shape, a task which falls to the maintenance facility at Carrollton
Station. Built in 1893, Carrollton harkens back to the days when
streetcars were king of city transportation. The restored carbarn and
attached shop have an incredible range of capabilities, doing everything
from fabricating new seats in the woodshop, to rewinding traction motors,
to building entire new cars! The facility received further upgrades as
part of the project to assemble the 23 new Canal St. streetcars.
Technical: Although the
cars have been completely rebuilt and have had numerous modifications made over the
years, they look, feel and operate in a fashion true to their original
design. Modifications include installation of roller bearings,
installation of an inverter to power the farebox and for AC lighting,
aluminum roof covering in place of the original canvas, and also aluminum
window sash and doors in place of the original wood. All cars are equipped with two trolley poles.
Overhead wire on the line is direct suspension, powered at 600 volts dc with primarily
bracket arm construction using center poles.
In 1988, New Orleans opened a new streetcar line
along the banks of the Mississippi River. The first phase connected together the
then-new commercial developments in the Warehouse District to developments
along the Riverfront and the French Quarter. The line utilized a 1.5
mile section of the existing Public Belt Line railroad, incorporating a
single track with a passing siding in the middle. Unlike the St. Charles
Line, this new route was standard gauge.
Riverfront Line literally runs along the banks of the Mississippi
Overwhelming public response to the new line (5,000
riders per day instead of the projected 2,000) generated expansion plans which were phased in beginning in 1990. The line
was extended another half mile, a second track was added, and three
wheelchair- accessible Melbourne streetcars were added to the line. The
expanded line thus connected the French Quarter with the city's convention
center and cruise ship terminal, with stops at major hotels, the aquarium
and riverfront parks along the way.
1997, the line received yet another overhaul, being converted to the 5'
2-1/2" broad gauge standard of the St. Charles Line, thus permitting direct use of
the Carrolton maintenance facility. The service was also
re-equipped with a fleet of seven new cars built at Carrollton. The new
cars were built to the classic Perley Thomas pattern so familiar to New
Orleans, but featured modern running gear and controls from CKD (Tatra)
in the Czech Republic. The Melbourne cars formerly used on the line were
subsequently resold to Memphis for their own vintage trolley operation. The Riverfront Line
cars were originally
operated with a two-person crew; an RTA operator, and a uniformed tour guide
provided by New Orleans Tours who handled fare collection and assisted
passengers. With the advent of the new replica cars,
the operation was changed to the one-man crew found elsewhere in the city.
the Audubon Aquarium at the foot of Canal St.
The Riverfront Line utilizes a traditional railroad
right-of-way, and features short, low-level
concrete platforms with modern steel canopies and informational signage.
ADA access is provided with car-borne wheelchair lifts from Ricon. The
double track line is still paralleled by an active freight track. Direct-suspension
trolley wire is hung from steel poles utilizing bracket arm construction.
The poles are topped with lights that also provide nighttime
Canal St. Line
Canal Street was one of the greatest of all
"streetcar thoroughfares" in North America, at one time having as many as six tracks through the heart of downtown, and had four
tracks even after World War II. Converted to a bus route in 1964, its return to streetcar operation was
accomplished in phases beginning in 1999 with the opening of a six-block section of Canal St, connecting the St. Charles and Riverfront
Lines. In 2004, forty years after abandonment of the original line, service began on the
3.6 mile line between the Riverfront and a terminal
at Cemeteries, plus a new 0.9 mile branch on Carrollton Avenue to City
Park. The $153 million
dollar project included a fleet of 23 new replica streetcars. The new cars
retained the classic lines of the St. Charles streetcar fleet while adding
modern improvements like air conditioning, ADA access and modern control
and braking equipment.
The new lines have stops located every two blocks. The Canal portion uses a median alignment for
its entire length, with the Downtown section in a paved track bed and
the outer portion in a classic New Orleans grass trackway (or
"neutral ground" in local parlance). The City Park Branch is
located in a traffic lane on either side of the landscaped street
median, with a median terminal at the Park. As seen in the photo below,
the pipe used to build the unique trolley wire
support poles were donated by a local oil company as part of their philanthropic
outreach. and incorporate light
fixtures that illuminate the trackway at night.
2010 on Canal pre-Katrina
Car-borne wheelchair lift in action
Scenes along Canal in the Downtown area
Scenes along Canal in the Downtown area
Night scene near Bourbon Street
Canal Street trackway is paved through the Downtown area
The Canal project included construction of these connecting tracks
to the planned Desire Line
Scenes along the Canal "neutral ground" right-of-way. As
seen, some of the stations have shelters.
Cars pass on Canal
The Randolph Maintenance Facility as seen from Canal
View of the ladder tracks leading into the carbarn
The carbarn and the adjacent storage tracks
Sand Car 29 inside the barn
Night scene on Canal
Some of the stations have shelters, this
one does not
Rolling along Canal
Plaque on one of the line poles
acknowledging their source
The single-track terminal at
on St. Charles car
on Canal prototype 2001
wheelchair lift Canal prototype 2001
City Park Branch
Along North Carrollton Avenue, the City
Park branch shares traffic lanes on either side of the roadway
Views at the City Park terminus
Leaving the terminal inbound
Heading onto North Carrollton
and Updates (scroll down for latest updates)
Work on the new Canal St. line is proceeding. In addition to contracts for
track specialwork and expansion of the Carrollton barn, NORTA is preparing
to enter into agreements for fabrication of key subassemblies for its new
fleet of 23 Canal St. Perley Thomas replica cars. Bids have been
advertised for structural components as well as trucks, motors and
control. The current schedule calls for the first new car to be completed
in January 2002, with the 23rd car complete in January of 2004. Assembly
is taking place at Carrollton. The new cars will feature PCC-derivative
trucks and modern chopper control.
2001: The contract to supply the trucks, motors, control and other
electrical apparatus for the 23 new Canal St. replica cars has been
awarded to Brookville Locomotive.
2001: An official groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the
new Canal Streetcar project took place on Friday July 20. NORTA was
expected to award a contract during the next week for the first
construction segment, from Salcedo to Baronne streets, with construction
starting by late August.
directly from the New Orleans Times-Picayune article,
"Among those taking part in Friday's ceremony were U.S. Sen. John
Breaux, D-La., who helped secure federal money for the project; Robert
Patrick, regional administrator of the Federal Transit Administration,
which is supplying 80 percent of the money; Taylor Energy Co. President
Patrick Taylor, who donated $1.2 million worth of oilfield pipes, or
"Taylor poles," to support the electric lines that will power
the cars; and Leland Lewis, chairman of the Greater New Orleans
Hotel-Motel Association, which reached agreement with the RTA on a plan to
impose a 1 percent tax on hotel rooms to provide much of the required
local match for the project." Source: New Orleans
2001: The NORTA voted to approve a $19.5-million construction contract on July 24 for the first segment of the Canal Street project. The job went to Boh Bros. Construction Co., for the 1.5-mile portion between Baronne and Salcedo streets.
Source: Rail Transit On Line
2001: As of November 30th, five replica Canal cars are now
in assembly on the shop floor at Carrollton barn, with a 6th car
due to start the following week. In addition, the first set of new
trucks and propulsion equipment was expected to be ready for
inspection at Brookville Locomotive in January. Source: Elmer
Von Dullen NORTA
December 18, NORTA awarded a $13.2-million contract to a local
firm, Construction South Inc., for a facility to store and
maintain the fleet of 24 replica streetcars for the new Canal
Streetcar line. The
29,000-sq.–ft. carbarn will be erected behind the RTA's existing
A. Philip Randolph operations center.
The work, due for completion in the first quarter of 2003,
will include renovating and restoring a 1926 bus garage still
standing on the site. In addition to the Canal Streetcars, the
Riverfront fleet will reportedly be based here. There will also be
space for 13 additional trolleys needed to operate the future
Desire corridor. Meanwhile, track installation is underway in the
neutral ground (median) of Canal Street between Baronne and
Salcedo streets, and work on the next segment between Salcedo and
City Park Avenue
start shortly. Source: Rail Transit On Line
2002: The March 25, 2002
edition of the National
Corridors Initiative newsletter ran an article by Jim RePass on the Canal Street project and the new replica
2002: NORTA staff report that the first test run over the
St. Charles Line of a partially complete Canal St. replica car was
successfully conducted in late May. Also, NORTA has added a nice
map detailing the line construction to its website.
In addition, the June edition of Rail
Transit On Line carries the following progress report on the
Canal St. project.
$14.1-million trackwork contract for the 0.91-mile
(1.46 km) City
Park branch of the Canal Street trolley project was awarded by the
RTA on May 28 to Boh Bros. Construction Co.
Work on the spur, along
Carrollton Avenue, is set to begin by Aug. 1.
It was the last of five major contracts and gives Boh Bros.
the job of laying track on all three line segments.
Meanwhile, progress in being made on the other two sectors.
The 1.5 miles (2.4 km) between Baronne and Salcedo streets
is about 15 percent complete and the section from Salcedo to City
Park Avenue at the Cemeteries is around five percent finished
after being delayed by complications encountered during the
relocation of a water line. Work
is also progressing on a 29,000-sq.-ft. (2,694 meters sq.)
maintenance building at the existing A. Philip Randolph Operations
Facility, with approximately 10 percent of the job now complete.
Ten of the 23 new replica heritage streetcars to be built
at the RTA's Carrollton Barn are under construction and the first
is expected to be unveiled in mid-June.
A production schedule has been set of around one per month
for the next two years. The
first phase of the Canal Street line, including an existing
segment from the Mississippi River to Salcedo Street, is expected
to open for revenue service in autumn 2003, 39 years after buses
replaced the original streetcars.
The entire route should be fully operational by the spring
of 2004. Source: Rail Transit On Line
2002: NORTA has added some pictures of the new Canal St. replica
cars to the photo
gallery on its website.
2002: Brookville Equipment had one of their new PCC-style
trucks on display inside the Saminco booth at the recent APTA
convention in Las Vegas. Saminco
is the company supplying the traction motor control package to
Brookville for the New Orleans contract.
a related note Jim Schantz recently posted a pdf file of the
Brookville brochure (page
1 / page
2) for the new trucks on the APTA Heritage Trolley site. Also,
Saminco has some pictures of Canal
replica car 2002 on their website,
as well as details on their A300 traction motor controller
PCC-type truck at APTA 2002. JS
Traction Motor Controller. JS photo
2002 being tested 9/9/02- Saminco
Progress Continues on New Replica Cars: As of
March 11, nine of the new Canal cars are now complete,
with six of them sitting in storage under tarps at the end
of the Riverfront Line. Numerous internet news groups are
also abuzz with conversation about New Orleans building
additional cars for other cities. NORTA Board Chairman Jimmy Reiss
has expressed a willingness to explore the concept, and so
it is possible that additional cities may contact Mr.
Reiss to express their interest. On a related note, NORTA
would like to replace the seven cars it currently has in
service on the Riverfront Line with an additional seven
Canal-type cars. If mated with new standard-gauge trucks,
the present Riverfront cars could present an excellent
opportunity for ready-to-go cars for a start-up or
expanding Vintage Trolley operation in another city. Source:
2003: Oct. 11 has been set as the opening date of the 3.1-mi. (5 km) Canal Street
trolley line between the Mississippi River and the Cemeteries. The one-mile (1.6 km) spur along North Carrollton Avenue is tentatively set for completion by the end of December. However, with the $161-million project now 65 percent finished, the scheduled openings depend
on a lack of construction delays caused by inclement weather or other problems. Track installation is still underway at several locations along Canal Street and 11 of the 24 new replica heritage streetcars needed for the line have been assembled by RTA shop
forces at the Carrollton car barn. Source- Rail Transit
On Line May 2003
2003: A streetcar ran the length of Canal Street
under its own power on Oct. 2 for the first time in nearly
40 years. Regional
Transit Authority superintendent for vehicle assembly
Elmer von Dullen gingerly guided No. 2017, newly minted in
the agency’s Carrollton Shops, from Baronne Street to
the Cemeteries terminal, testing clearances, track,
switches and traction power.
The ride, at walking speed, was deemed a complete
used to daily ride the Canal streetcar in the 1950s to
work,” von Dullen told The
“It's amazing. I never expected the streetcar to return to Canal Street in
my lifetime.” Track
and wiring were completed about two weeks earlier,
although landscaping and other cosmetic work has yet to be
$161-million project to restore trolley service on Canal
includes production of 23 replica Perley Thomas streetcars
— the originals, now 80 years old, operate on New
Orleans’ St. Charles line.
A formal dedication ceremony is scheduled for Dec.
6 but revenue service could begin before the end of
the Federal Transit Administration on Oct. 9 awarded a
$21.6-million grant for the Canal Street project under a
$129-million Full Funding Grant Agreement, bringing the
FTA contribution so far to nearly $89.6 million. Source- Rail Transit
On Line November 2003
Photo from NORTA
The May 2004 edition of Rail Transit Online provided the
great news about the opening of the Canal St. Line:
More than 150 transit aficionados, history buffs and weekend night owls were on hand shortly after 3 a.m. on Apr. 18 when the first revenue service streetcar in 40 years rolled down Canal Street. Rail enthusiast Alan Drake volunteered to distribute numbers at Salcedo Street, the first stop, to bring order to the scene and prevent a stampede when the car to the City Park Avenue terminal arrived. But the operator ignored the line and pulled up into the middle of crowd, allowing one of his relatives to be the first person on board. The car quickly filled with passengers, including some who had been on the last streetcar on Canal Street in 1964. The service is operated with a fleet of newly-built cars resembling the original Perley-Thomas streetcars that run on the St. Charles line. An estimated 30,000 riders boarded during the first day of service, with 125,000 recorded during the first week. However, a number of problems have caused unexpectedly slow operation, including heavy ridership, motorists blocking intersections, temperamental fareboxes that won’t accept worn dollar bills and operators that are still not totally familiar with the streetcars. The restored route totals 5.5 mi. (8.85 km), including a nearly one-mile (1.6 km) branch along North Carrollton Avenue to Beauregard Circle. A formal dedication ceremony for the new line is scheduled to take place during the Memorial Day weekend because it was on May 31, 1964 that the last streetcar ran on Canal Street.
Source- Rail Transit
On Line May 2004
Orleans page on the APTA Heritage Trolley website also
carries some great photos by Jim Schantz.
New Orleans suffered extensive damage from Hurricane
Katrina, and it is not known when streetcar operation will
resume. Reports indicate that the Carrollton carbarn and the
35 streetcars that are used on the St. Charles line were
spared from the extensive flooding that caused so much
damage in other parts of the city. The Canal St. carbarn
unfortunately received major flooding, and the Canal and
Riverfront streetcar fleets have been extensively damaged.
As of late September, NORTA was reportedly in discussions
with Brookville Equipment to move two of the damaged cars to
their Brookville PA facility for evaluation.
on Canal St. prior to flooding
barn after flood waters began to recede- AP photo
Streetcar operation may soon return to New Orleans,
at least on a partial basis. On 12/12/05, St.
Charles Line car 930 made a series of test
operations on the Canal St. line after being towed
there from the Carrolton carbarn. Although the Canal
Line's regular fleet of replica cars were
extensively damaged, its infrastructure, along with
that of the Riverfront Line, survived in better
condition than the St. Charles Line. The Canal
Streetcar.com website has coverage of this
important first step, including the pictures of the
event seen below. Testing on the Riverfront Line is
also anticipated. In
other news, two of the flood damaged cars are now at
Brookville Equipment being evaluated.
The Boston MBTA has loaned NORTA a large
portable traction power substation to use in the
restoration of streetcar service. The unit arrived
in New Orleans in early February and has been
installed to help power the Canal Streetcar line.
from the Boston Globe and this article
from the Times Picayune provide details.
hopes to restore full service on the Canal Line in
the near future using the historic streetcar fleet
from the St. Charles Line. Although the St. Charles
line itself sustained heavy damage to its traction
power / overhead wire system, the streetcar fleet
emerged unscathed. The almost new Canal Line replica
trolleys may also be repaired locally, using the
Carrolton carbarn facility where they were
constructed in 2002-03.
to the St. Charles Line are presently expected to
take up to two years. Shortly before hurricane
Katrina struck, NORTA was actually preparing to have
a contractor begin work on an overhaul of the line's
traction power / overhead wire system. The hurricane
damage caused a major scope change in this project,
however, and so numerous issues remain unresolved at
More news to
follow as the Crescent City continues the struggle
to get back on its feet in the wake of the devastating
hurricane. Thanks to Alan Drake and others for the
2, 2006: The portable substation borrowed from the MBTA in Boston was placed in service
in early April and streetcars have resumed running the length of Canal Street and out the branch to City Park. Service is being provided
using cars from the St. Charles line that were
unaffected by the hurricane. Jim Schantz has posted
a comprehensive report on the ongoing New Orleans
recovery on the APTA
Heritage Trolley website.
A $43-million grant to help finance repair of the Canal Street
line's 24 replica heritage streetcars has been
approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The money, along with contributions from the
state of Louisiana, is enough to fix all of the streetcars at a cost
of $800,000 to $1 million each.
Their electrical and mechanical systems were
destroyed when they were inundated in five feet of flood water during Hurricane
half of the federal grant has been allocated to the
streetcar program, with the remainder going toward
replacement of more than 200 flooded buses, said
Regional Transit Authority spokeswoman Rosalind
Blanco Cook. “Now
we can get to work, repairing the streetcars and
ordering the buses,” Cook told the Times-Picayune. “We
plan to soon start calling back some of the
craftspeople we laid off.”
The work will be completed in the RTA’s
Carrollton Shops where the cars were built during
2002 and 2003. The
job will be complex because the replicas, unlike the
line’s historic Perley Thomas streetcars, are
equipped with air conditioning and wheelchair lifts.
Cook said the first rebuilt car should be
ready by next summer and “…then we'll have one
roll out every two months.”
Meanwhile, the inner portion of the St. Charles Avenue
streetcar line should be back in service by
of the traction power system, much of which was
decimated by falling trees during Katrina, is
nearing completion on the downtown loop along Lee Circle,
Carondelet Street, Canal Street
and St. Charles Avenue. Source- Rail Transit Online
1.2-mile stretch of the hurricane-damaged
St. Charles Avenue
was returned to limited service on Dec. 19.
However, only two cars are being used and
they operate only between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on
headways of 13 to 26 min.
Hurricane Katrina virtually destroyed the
overhead traction power system along the historic
The system is being rebuilt under a contract
signed before Katrina.
Regional Transit Authority officials hope to
open another segment from
by mid-2007 and to the end of the line at South
during the first half of 2008.
here for a Times- Picayune article with
additional details of the first day of restored
service, and click
here for an article from the 12/19/06 edition. Source- Rail Transit Online
Bill Feig photo, the
stretch of the hurricane damaged
St. Charles Avenue streetcar is due to return to
service later this month. Streetcars are expected to
be running shortly between Canal Street and Napoleon
(About half of the line's pre-Hurricane
the Advocate ran an October
8 article detailing a $13 million Canal Street Improvement
Project spear headed by the Downtown Development
also pleased to report that the CanalStreetcar.com
website is once again quite active, bringing you all
kinds of interesting streetcar news from the
planned, streetcars officially returned to St. Charles Ave on
November 11. The CanalStreetcar.com
website has detailed coverage of the event,
including videos and the great photos below. Streetcars
now run daily between Canal Street and Napoleon
(About half of the line's pre-Hurricane
length). This Times-Picayune
article has more details on the big event.
day festivities- Canal Streetcar.com photos
returned to the full length of St. Charles Ave on December 23,
operating from Canal to Riverbend. Only the final section of the
line on South Carrollton now remains out of service. The
event drew news coverage in the Times
Picayune and the New
informal group from the APTA Heritage Trolley & Streetcar Subcommittee
visited New Orleans in mid-March. During our visit we had the
opportunity to meet with NORTA staff and see first hand the
efforts underway to return the system to its pre-Katrina mileage.
The full system is presently operating, less the outer 1.2 miles of the
St. Charles Line beyond Riverbend, where work continues on
upgrading the OCS system. Substation work is underway, new trolley
wire and feeder cables have been installed the entire length of
the line, and steel poles are also being replaced on an as-needed
basis over the length of the line.
St. Charles line is operating on its traditional route, while the
Canal and Riverfront Lines are presently through-routed, with
additional shuttle cars serving the Convention Center end of the
line. The restoration of the 2002 Canal car fleet is underway,
with NORTA handling repairs and repainting of the carbodies
in-house at the Carrollton Station carbarn. Brookville Equipment will be
overhauling the running gear at their facility in Pennsylvania,
and new propulsion equipment from Saminco will be installed at
repairs to the traction power system now completed, the full
length of the St. Charles streetcar is once again in operation. A
ceremony was held on June 22 to commemorate this significant
milestone. Click here for a Times
Picayune article on the event. At Carrollton Station, work
continues on the restoration of the flood damaged fleet of Canal
streetcars. RTA employees continue restoration and painting of the
carbodies, and contractor Brookville Equipment is installing the
new wiring and propulsion equipment, along with the refurbished
2008: On December 5-6 the APTA Heritage Trolley &
Streetcar Subcommittee held its 2008 field meeting in New Orleans.
On Friday, participants began the day at Carrollton Station
where they received a presentation from Brookville Equipment on
their ongoing work with NORTA staff on the restoration of the
flood-damaged Canal Street replica fleet. This was followed by a
tour of the shops, and then streetcar rides on the system. A
business meeting was held on Saturday. The first six restored
Canal St. replica cars returned to service shortly after our
visit, on December 12.
of NORTA's streetcar fleet is now approaching completion; all
24 of the Canal Street replica cars are back in service, and 3 of
the 7 Riverfront Cars are also complete. The cars have been
completely refurbished including upgraded control equipment and
other important improvements based on lessons learned during their
initial time in service.
other New Orleans streetcar news, the City is getting $45 million
under the federal TIGER economic recovery program to build a
1.5-mile streetcar line along Loyola Avenue to Union Passenger
Terminal. No new streetcars will have to be purchased because RTA
will use surplus cars from the Canal Street and Riverfront lines. Click
here for the Times-Picayune article.
2010: Mass Transit Magazine has published an article
detailing the latest expansion plans for the New Orleans
streetcar system. The article details the City's ambitious
three-component program of streetcar projects: UPT/Loyola Avenue
Streetcar Loop; French Quarter Streetcar Loop; and Convention
Center/Riverfront Streetcar Loop.
2011: Construction has started on the new 1.5 mile spur
on Loyola Ave. that will link Canal Street with New Orleans Union
Passenger Terminal. The Times Picayune ran a detailed
article on the start of construction. The
RTA secured $45 million to fund this new line from a federal TIGER
grant which is awarded to transportation projects that will spur
economic growth and create environmental benefits. According to the
terms of the grant, the streetcar line will be open for service in
mid-2012. An official
groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 7, 2011, attended by U.S.
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, RTA
Board members, and many other local officials. Meanwhile, the RTA
has authorized a request for proposals on a contract for final
design of the French Quarter streetcar loop along North Rampart
Street and St. Claude Avenue between Canal Street and Press Street,
with a 1.2-mi. (1.93 km) branch on Elysian Fields Avenue connecting
with the Riverfront line at Esplanade Avenue. Funding totaling $90
million is already available and officials hope to start
construction in late 2012 or early 2013.
here for a related article from Architect Magazine.
Friedman Jr.'s website- great New Orleans streetcar history info
Times Picayune article on the return of the St. Charles Line
Urban Conservancy website, New Orleans
web site on the history of the Canal St. streetcar line
Orleans streetcar article from December 2002 issue of TRB LRT News
Orleans page on the APTA Heritage Trolley site
NORTA Web Site
page was last updated on 8/31/11