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U.S. Streetcar Systems- Delaware


Wilmington Trolley

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Route Miles: 2
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The report below is from August 2001 at which time a vintage trolley proposal was under active study. The project has since been shelved.

Now in the preliminary engineering stage is a two-mile trolley line in downtown Wilmington. According to the Delaware DOT project summary, the line will connect the city’s three main activity centers – the office, hotel, retail and banking center in the northern part of the central business district surrounding Rodney Square; the commercial spine along Market Street south to the Amtrak railroad station; and the Christina riverfront area, which is being developed as an arts and entertainment center.

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) has been awarded a contract to provide pre-engineering services and preliminary engineering. Twenty-three potential station locations have been identified for further study during preliminary engineering, many of which will be parking and bus route transfer locations. A fleet of 10 replica vintage trolleys is projected, with 760,000 paid trips annually.

According to their press release, PB will be providing preliminary designs for the new system, along with cost estimates and financial planning. The firm will also perform an environmental assessment in anticipation that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will issue a Finding of No Significant Impact. The pre-engineering services include finalizing an alternatives analysis, developing the project management plan, assistance in complying with FTA’s new starts criteria and obtaining approval to enter into preliminary engineering and, later, final design. The design and environmental analysis are scheduled for completion in early 2002.

The trolley line is a core component of the plans of the non-profit Wilmington Renaissance Corporation for revitalizing downtown Wilmington.