Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Work Progresses on El Paso Streetcar Rehabilitation

By Armando Landin
The vehicles that will be used for the upcoming streetcar project, currently under construction, will use the same bodies as those seen on city streets decades ago in El Paso.

The color scheme El Pasoans will see on streetcars once they make their return to Downtown streets in late 2018. (CRRMA)

And now we're getting a peek at the rehabilitation process for those streetcars taking place thousands of miles away.

The front of car number 1506, one of six historic
streetcars undergoing rehabilitation as part of the
El Paso streetcar project. (CRRMA)
Car number 1506 is shown in a short series of photographs released by the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA), basically a sandblasted metal shell that will receive upgrades in the coming months.

The goal is to equip each of the six streetcars with modern amenities such as air conditioning and WiFi while still retaining their original look and feel. They are officially called Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) streetcar vehicles.

(Previously: Official Route Map Released for El Paso Streetcar Line)

“We’ve been watching as this project becomes a reality in terms of the concrete and steel which we can see along the route, but it’s also exciting to see progress on the cars which are a signature component of this project,” states Raymond Telles, Executive Director of the CRRMA, in a press release.

“These photos also remind us of the multi-faceted nature of this project which includes restoration of the vintgage cars, extensive work along the route, construction of a maintenance storage facility downtown, and placement of the overhead contact system which will power the streetcars.”

In all, the streetcar route will include 27 stops along two loops running throughout Downtown and connecting to the University of Texas at El Paso. Crews continue to work on laying track for the 4.8 mile route.

A sandblasted streetcar undergoes rehabilitation at Brookville Equipment Corporation in Pennsylvania, one of six that will be running on El Paso streets in the coming years. (CRRMA)

(Previously: Workers to Begin Laying Streetcar Rail in June)

The streetcar rehabilitation is being handled by Brookville Equipment Corporation out of Pennsylvania, with Paso del Norte Trackworks in charge of constructing the route. Completion of the project is expected in late 2018.