It looks like DDOT has chosen an American manufacturer, Oregon Iron Works, to construct two new streetcars for the H Street line. From the wording in the press release it sounds like these cars will be running with the existing three streetcars when the H Street line launches. That's great news because is will allow for reasonable lead times between cars. At one point DDOT sounded as though they might launch with only three cars, and that caused a great deal of worry that it might ultimately diminish ridership because of a bad first impression on riders.
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The full press release is after the jump.
Breaking news: DDOT Selects American Manufacturer to Build New Streetcars
(Washington, D.C.) Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced today that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has selected Oregon Iron Works, Inc. to manufacture two modern streetcars for the DC Streetcar system. The new vehicles will be built in the United States and will run – along with the three vehicles the District a...lready owns -- on the H Street/Benning Road line beginning in 2013. The proposed Cooperative Purchase Agreement sent to the Council utilizes an existing contract for streetcar vehicles between Oregon Iron Works and the city of Portland, Oregon.
“This contract, which we have sent to the Council for consideration, reaffirms our commitment to begin streetcar service in the District next year,” said Mayor Gray. “Investing in streetcars makes sense both economically and environmentally, and we must continue to move forward with the program.”
“We are excited to partner with Oregon Iron Works,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “These streetcars, combined with the three cars previously purchased, will give us a fleet size that will allow us to successfully deliver a safe and reliable transit system for the District of Columbia.”
Oregon Iron Works (OIW) was founded in 1944 and now has more than $100 million in annual sales and 400 skilled craftsmen and support employees. It is the only domestic manufacturer of streetcar vehicles and has the only streetcar test track in the U.S. for testing vehicles before they are delivered.
“We are extremely proud to be supplying American-made, modern streetcars to our nation’s capital,” said Chandra Brown, Vice President of Oregon Iron Works. “This means more manufacturing jobs throughout the United States for us and our great subcontractors.”