Do any old salvageable street cars exist in Montreal?
Photo Thomas Hawk
Hot tram! Old trolleys are the new classic cars [SLIDESHOW]
A Brookville-restored streetcar in San Francisco. While they have the look and feel of historic streetcars, the restored trolleys are equipped for modern day needs, can have air conditioning, are ADA compliant and meet modern safety standards. Photo credit: Rick Laubscher.
Restored Streetcars Now Desirable
To the delight of many, old streetcars are being restored to their former glory and put back into transit service in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Portland.
“A unique industry is flourishing in Brookville, Pa., an old lumber town about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The sounds of buzzing saws are emanating from a modern-looking warehouse on the grounds of the Brookville Equipment Corp. (BEC). Inside, workers are cutting through the body of a streetcar that’s clearly seen better days. Sitting next to it on the factory floor is an old yellow streetcar, polished to look new. It basically is. BEC is in the business of restoring old streetcars, and these days, that’s a booming business.”
“Behind many of these streetcar projects is the desire to revitalize neighborhoods. When Portland built its line in 2001, the city hoped it would encourage transit-oriented development. The line has done just that. Today, it is credited with leading to $3.5 billion in new construction, 10,000 residential units, and more than 5 million square feet of office and hotel space. Even though it’s still under construction, the New Orleans Streetcar project has already stimulated hotel renovations, new apartment construction and retail projects along Loyola Avenue. The city currently operates three streetcar lines using vintage and replica trolleys, which the city’s transit authority calls “a piece of movable New Orleans history.””