First streetcar to arrive sooner

control panelThe first Kansas City streetcar is to arrive on October 29, with cars two, three and four coming at unspecified later dates.

Ralph Davis, the city project manager for the streetcars, updated the city council Thursday.

The manufacturing company had said recently that the first car would not arrive until late December, after it was first to arrive first in June and then September.

But CAF USA Inc., a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, made changes in how is assembles the cars sent from Spain.

Davis went to the CAF plant in Elmira, New York and saw the first Kansas City streetcar  and two others in early stages of assembly.

A Kansas City streetcar on the assembly line.

A Kansas City streetcar on the assembly line.

CAF added a second shift to work on the first car, hired and trained more workers and put an engineer on the floor, Davis said.

He did not reveal the company dates for completion of cars two, three and four because they are unacceptable and can be improved, Davis said.

He will pressure the firm to continue to speed manufacture, he said, and has sway since late fines are costing the company $3,300 a day, or about $137.50 for each hour, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Streetcar officials here plan to operate three streetcars and hold one in reserve, and had hoped they would be running by the March Big 12 conference men’s basketball tournament.

But after arrival, each car must be tested for 300 miles and pass state and federal requirements.

They still may be operating by spring, the public works director said, but to remember that spring does not officially end until June 21.

One Comment

  1. BIGBABY 59 says:

    Drove down to Crown Center today and drove down thru Crossroad District , Just looking at the Streetcar Line , and I was wondering is any landscaping will be added to the line. Also are they going to replace sidewalks and build new curbs. I hope the city will charge people, day one to ride the streetcar and no free rides. Atlanta gave free rides on their street car line, and the younger people took advantage of it, like they were going to a amusement park. If we want this line to go well with the public for future expansion, the transportation dept., the city, and the citizens will have to take ownership.

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