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Mayor Gray Welcomes District’s New Streetcars to Anacostia Facility for Testing Phase

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mayor Gray Welcomes District’s New Streetcars to Anacostia Facility for Testing Phase

District’s Streetcar Program Moves Closer to Starting Service on H/Benning Route

(Washington, DC) Mayor Vincent C. Gray welcomed the second of three vehicles that will form the District’s streetcar fleet to the DC Streetcar Anacostia Testing and Commissioning Site today. The vehicles will start a post-delivery testing phase before making their way to the H Street/Benning Road NE corridor this fall to begin regular service on the District’s first streetcar line in more than 50 years.

“The moving of the District’s three streetcar vehicles to this site marks a significant milestone for the DC Streetcar program and District residents,” Mayor Gray said. “This is a major step toward implementing a new streetcar system, helping us expand options for public transportation in the District – major goals of my One City Action Plan and my Sustainable DC initiative.”

Mayor Gray continued, “DC Streetcar is also looking to hire their first eight operations and maintenance employees – the first new hires in what will be many jobs created, both directly and indirectly, by the revival of streetcars in the District of Columbia for the first time in half a century.”

Construction at the site in Anacostia has been underway since September to prepare for the arrival of the District’s three streetcar vehicles. The first vehicle was delivered yesterday, April 30, and the third will be delivered tomorrow, May 2. The vehicles have been in storage at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s Greenbelt facility for just over three years.

“We’re excited to start the post-delivery testing phase,” said District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy. “Testing will be conducted by engineers from WMATA and Inekon, the company that manufactured the vehicles.”

Vehicle testing ensures that all components of the system are working together as they were designed to do – from the overhead catenary system lines that will help power the streetcars to the traction-power substation and the vehicle’s pantograph.

Once testing concludes, the vehicles will be officially released to DDOT’s operations and maintenance team, RATP Dev McDonald Transit (RDMT). The vehicles will be operated and maintained in Anacostia until this fall, when DDOT plans to move them to the H/Benning corridor to start certification on the Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue line. Each line must be certified individually as it joins the DC Streetcar system. Similar to vehicle testing, certification involves testing each component of the line to verify its safety prior to the start of passenger service.

RDMT, working through The Midtown Group, is looking to hire their first eight team members in May and June. Information regarding a May 14 job fair can be found at dcstreetcar.com/connect/employment.

Visit dcstreetcar.com for more information on the DC Streetcar program.