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Third American-made streetcar enters service

by: COURTEST UNITED STREETCAR - The newest American-made streetcar started carrying Portland Streetcar passengers last week.The third streetcar built by United Streetcar began carrying Portland Streetcar passengers last week.

The Clackamas County-based company expects to deliver the final streetcars ordered by Portland later this summer.

“We’re pleased to see yet another of our American-made vehicles serving passengers in Portland,” said Kevin Clarke, president of United Streetcar. “United Streetcar and all of our partners are committed to continuing with this momentum as we move toward delivering additional streetcars and building the new domestic streetcar industry.”

United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, is building the first American-made streetcars in six decades. Although it was originally created to fill orders from Portland, the company has since entered into contract to provide streetcars to other cities in the United States, too, including Tucson and Washington DC.

Total costs for the prototype and six production streetcars are approximately $26.3 million, with the funds coming from the state and federal governments, says Gustfson. Portland Streetcar has an option to buy a seventh production streetcar for $1.5 million.

The deliveries are about one year behind schedule, says Gustafson. He attributes that to unexpected difficulties encountered in trying to build the first Amercian-made streetcars in nearly 60 years, including meeting strict federal safety standards.