Tucson's first streetcar rolling in from Portland - Tucson News Now

Tucson's first streetcar rolling in from Portland

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson's modern streetcar project has reached another milestone.

The $4.5 million dollar, 60 ton streetcar has been loaded on a flat bed truck at the Oregon Ironworks manufacturing plant for its five day journey to Tucson.

It takes five days because there will be inspections and paperwork hurdles it will meet as it passes through several states.

Then the car arrives in Tucson, for some it's the end of a ten year journey from conception to reality.

"It seems like forever," says Shellie Ginn, the project manager for the streetcar.

Even though the car will arrive in Tucson, it won't be out on the tracks immediately.

"I need a second car that won't be released to us until October, "says Andrew H. Quigley, who has overseen the project for the city manager's office.  "That's when we're really going to be able to test the car over the newly constructed rail line."

All eight cars must be delivered, tested and approved before the system can begin operating and collecting fares.

The cars will be delivered about four weeks apart making the earliest the system can be up and running late Spring or early Summer.

The project is about six months behind but part of that is because the contract calls for an all American streetcar. Oregon Ironworks hasn't produced a streetcar for American use for 62 years.

Next up, is a safety program for the Tucson residents and motorists.

"People need to know it's there," Quigley says.

Pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists will have to be aware of the 60 ton train on the track.

The city has rolled out a safety program designed to do just that.

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