NEW ORLEANS – Streetcar service is returning to the historic St. Charles line in New Orleans now that a federally funded project to replace electrical lines used to power the system is complete, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said.
“Today, the streetcars’ familiar sounds return to St. Charles Avenue for the first time since Katrina hit, heralding to the world the resilience of this city,” Peters said. “Where cable hung following the storm, today neat rows of overhead wires stand ready to power New Orleans on a streetcar we should call Revival.”
Peters noted that the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration provided $9.2 million to help the local transit agency upgrade power lines and construct three new power substations. She said now that work is finished on the first 1.2 miles of the line, the streetcars could return to service for the first time since the hurricane hit in 2005.
“Mile by mile, pole by pole, the St. Charles line, like New Orleans itself, is coming back,” Peters said. “Reconnecting this vintage green streetcar to its cable not only restores energy to the St. Charles Line, but also signals the renaissance of this most vibrant and unique city.”