31 March 2006

St. Charles Streetcar Line Projected to Return in December 2006/Canal Street Streetcar Line Resumes This Weekend (minus Carrollton/City Park Spur)

I took the above shots in front of the Carrollton Barn yesterday excited to actually see some progress beyond a rehabilitation project announcement sign. The workers are removing the existing overhead wires as part of the St. Charles Line's electrical system overhaul. From what I've observed, it appears most of the overhead lines have been removed on the entire Line in one direction.

Today's Times-Picayune features a story on the return of the Canal Street Streetcar Line (using vintage St. Charles Line Perley Thomas cars) which resumes service this weekend. This is of course great and much needed news for Mid-City and New Orleans as a whole, but unfortunately the status of the St. Charles Streetcar Line briefly mentioned in three sentences at the end of article is not what I wanted to read. An RTA spokesperson says that "a portion" of the St. Charles Line won't be operational until December. "A portion . . . ": not even the whole line. Under this schedule (if it holds) it will be a minimum of a year and a half that the St. Charles Streetcar Line is out of commission. Living a block from the Line, not hearing the rumbling, the clicking, and the buzzing of the streetcar in the middle of the night is bizarre. Since KTMB, I've actually dreamed I've heard the different sounds. I so look forward to it's return.

Unfortunately, because of a switching box issue the Carrollton/City Park Spur will not be included in the initial re-establishment of the Line this weekend and almost certainly will not be active for the two weekends of Jazzfest in about a month. Not being able to take the Line to the end of North Carrollton and Esplanade for a short walk to The Fairgrounds is a real disappointment. Just the other day a Mid-City friend and I were talking about doing just that . . .

1 APRIL 2006 UPDATE: Strike that. According to today's Times-Picayune, the RTA has reconsidered plans not to run the Carrollton/City Park Spur. The Spur will be back online Sunday as they have managed to work around the signal box issue. This is unexpected but fantastic news.


At April 03, 2006 12:24 AM, Blogger John Peltier said...

Exciting, I was dreading coming home this spring and not having the streetcars running. Big step.


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