NORTA New Orleans Streetcars

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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aline1969
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New Orleans trolley operations

Post by aline1969 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:10 am

:( a very sad time for the trolleys of New Orleans, both new and old cars will suffer severe damages from the storm, wind and water flooding could destroy our beloved trolleys.
Replace the 57 with the Green Line!!! The people demand more transit, more new routes
$75 K raised for Middlesex & Boston trolley #41 :: Seashore Trolley Museum

chuchubob
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New Orleans streetcar operations

Post by chuchubob » Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:14 pm

They're called streetcars in New Orleans.

aline1969
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Post by aline1969 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:49 pm

I already know that, I operate 966.
Replace the 57 with the Green Line!!! The people demand more transit, more new routes
$75 K raised for Middlesex & Boston trolley #41 :: Seashore Trolley Museum

chuchubob
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Post by chuchubob » Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:40 pm

That's in Lowell?

aline1969
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Post by aline1969 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:06 pm

Yup, Lowell.

Property of NEERHS

Restored by Fred Maloney
Replace the 57 with the Green Line!!! The people demand more transit, more new routes
$75 K raised for Middlesex & Boston trolley #41 :: Seashore Trolley Museum

walt
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Re: New Orleans streetcar operations

Post by walt » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:17 pm

chuchubob wrote:They're called streetcars in New Orleans.
Actually, streetcar is a term for any street railway vehicle, electric or otherwise. The term trolley, which refers to electric streetcars, is derived from the "trolley" at the upper end of the pole.

Anyway---- I hope that New Orleans' historic streetcars can be somehow protected.
Please Move to the Rear and Speed Your Ride
( Philadelphia Transportation Company)

chuchubob
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Re: New Orleans streetcar operations

Post by chuchubob » Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:01 pm

walt wrote: Actually, streetcar is a term for any street railway vehicle, electric or otherwise. The term trolley, which refers to electric streetcars, is derived from the "trolley" at the upper end of the pole.
And I'm aware of that. Be that as it may, in New Orleans, trolleys are known as streetcars.

trolleyguy

New Orleans Streetcars: a tragic loss

Post by trolleyguy » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:01 pm

It is beginning to look as if Hurricane Katrina may have added New Orleans' famed streetcar system to the "Fallen Flags" list.

There has been so much damage done to the City of New Orleans by the floodwaters from Lake Pontchartrain (more than 80% of the city is underwater and the city has had to be entirely evacuated) that it is going to be months, if not years, before the majority of its residents can return - and for most of them, their homes, personal property, and jobs have been destroyed. There is literally nothing left for most of them to come back to but water-soaked houses contaminated with mud, sewage, poisonous snakes and other tropical reptiles and fish, and chemicals).

Most housing will have to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. It will take years before New Orleans can begin to function as it did before the hurricane struck.

I'm afraid that the streetcars there may very well have turned their last wheels, because there is no one left to take care of them, or to ride on them. The cars themselves have been flooded by the foul brackish (salty) waters, and have likely suffered extensive damage. They will be sitting there, rotting away for months, if not years, before anyone can get working to rehabilitate them.

Tourists are not going to be coming back to New Orleans for a very long time, either. There is even debate in the United States Congress as to whether it makes any sense to throw federal dollars and effort into rebuilding this city, only to have another hurricane come along and wipe it out again. There are suggestions being made that New Orleans should be moved inland and rebuilt from scratch, abandoning its present below-sea-level location, which has now been rendered uninhabitable by the flooding. If it survives in its present location, the city will likely be only a shadow of its former self.

Therefore, I am prepared for the likelihood that we will have to bid a fond and very sad farewell to New Orleans and its lovely old streetcars.
:(

octr202
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Post by octr202 » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:14 pm

I think we should be glad that so many of the cars have survived in museums around the country. I agree that it looks like (unless any of the carbarns are on higher ground...there are some areas that aren't flooded) the streetcars are probably gone. If the city is rebuilt (which I would imagine it is -- the psychological impact of wiping a major metropolitan area off the map would be devestating alone), I'm sure that some day there will be streetcars running again. They will no doubt be replicas, but New Orleans did prove that very good "old" cars can still be built.

Perhaps, someday when enough of people's lives are put back together there that they can focus on recreating some of what it was before, maybe some of those streetcars that did migrate around the country can come back, even if only loaned for a while, so that a little more of the past can be held on to.
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natethegreat
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Post by natethegreat » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:11 pm

I was watching the CBS evening news tonight, and the reporter was intervieing a person on the streetcar ROW. Much to my surprise, The wires were still up. Also, the ROW had little damage done to it, although it was covered in trash.

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Post by railfanofewu » Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:06 am

natethegreat wrote:I was watching the CBS evening news tonight, and the reporter was intervieing a person on the streetcar ROW. Much to my surprise, The wires were still up. Also, the ROW had little damage done to it, although it was covered in trash.
So can it be restored to operation once the power is back on and the city dried out?
Bus and Rail fan of the Pacific Northwest

trolleyguy

Post by trolleyguy » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:40 am

railfanofewu wrote:

So can it be restored to operation once the power is back on and the city dried out?
Technically, yes - but, given the circumstances, highly unlikely for a very, very long time, if ever.

Why? First of all, because the great majority of the city of New Orleans has been rendered uninhabitable by the severely contaminated floodwaters. About 80% of the houses in the city are underwater, many up to their roofs. All of these houses, including the soil of the land surrounding them, are going to have to be de-contaminated. The toxic sludge left behind by the floodwaters is going to be very difficult to remove. Many houses may have to be torn down because, structurally, they will be too difficult to dry out and clean up. Toxic mold will grow inside their damp walls. At the very least, the more salvageable houses will have to be gutted to their frames and their interiors completely renewed.

All of this is going to take a very long time (years, not months), and no-one will be able to return to the city to live and to work until this process has been completed. With few people residing in the city, there is little demand for transit.

Some of the wealthier, mainly white, folks may be able to return sooner to their homes in the parts of the city that were not so badly flooded, primarily the Garden District, parts of the downtown area, and the French Quarter, once power, water and sewerage systems are restored. Other basic services, such as police, fire, hospitals and schools, are also going to have to be restored. Many of the people who staffed these services lived in the poorer, more severely flooded areas. Moreover, the wealthier people mentioned above own cars, and aren't transit-dependent.

New Orleans had a very large percentage (about 29%) of people living below the poverty line - people who couldn't afford to own cars, who could barely make it from one pay- or welfare check to the next, and who were therefore highly transit-dependent. These people have now all been forced to leave their homes and their city. Futhermore, New Orleans was more than 70% black. These citizens were by and large the ones who used public transportation. Now, most of them are gone, likely never to return, having been relocated to other parts of the country.

Furthermore, tourists, who rode the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line in considerable numbers, aren't coming back to New Orleans anytime soon, either. Basically, the area's economy, including the tourism industry, which gave jobs to the great majority of the citizens of this city, has been destroyed. Many of the evacuees relocated to other parts of the country by this storm will probably never return, first because they have nothing to come home to and, second, because by the time this horrific mess gets cleaned up, most will have found new homes, jobs, and schools for their chilfren, and will have settled into their adopted communities. Even if they could return, many won't want to because they have no desire to risk once again the threat of yet another great hurricane and a repeat of this disaster.

I therefore have come to the sad conclusion that the streetcars in New Orleans are done for, at least for the short- and medium-term future. My gut feeling is that they won't be coming back at all, because there is no longer any real need for them. A rudimentary bus service is probably the only public transportation that will be around for a very long time to come

MACTRAXX
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Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:04 pm

Guys: Has anyone heard on the flood status of the Carrollton shop? Were the cars put away,so to speak? Are the neutral grounds in somewhat usable condition? I visited NO twice-spent time there in June 1985 and passed thru for a visit in 1987. I remember visiting the Carrollton shop in'85 and got info on how the line was preserved. From what that I am seeing on the Katrina disaster,the French Quarter,much of Downtown and some of the Garden District made it thru the storm without much heavy damage or flooding-but I agree some parts of the city have been just short of destroyed-these will more than likely be leveled and either rebuilt or made into park or wetland. How did the Canal car lines fare? In an opinion I recall reading by a civil engineer recently,those sections of NO could be saved and the marginal and destroyed sections leveled. This same engineer thought it was ludicrous to fully restore the city just to see another gulf coast hurricane someday damage it again. I recall from my visits that there were some dangerous areas in the Big Easy as well as the well-known spots everyone knows. New Orleans may never be the same-I recall seeing a weather-related program some time ago and one of the things mentioned if NO ever took a direct hit from a cat 5 hurricane it could become the "Cajun Atlantis" - on a related standpoint,the NS bridge across the E end of Lake Ponchartrain had rail taken off of it by the storm I remember reading. I cannot recall if commuter rail was ever in the cards for NO. Also-mentioned that the Louisiana Superdome is badly damaged enough for at least the roof will have to be replaced or worse. Sorry if I went off track here a little-this was one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetimes and takes a lot to comprehend to all that has happened-my heart goes out to them. MACTRAXX
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Post by jwhite07 » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:27 pm

A friend of mine who recently attended an ERA charter in Dallas says that people on the charter were reporting that Carrollton car barn (and thus the original Perley Thomas cars) escaped relatively unscathed, but the new barn on Canal Street was not so fortunate.

aline1969
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Post by aline1969 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:53 pm

who is your friend? I went on the ERA trip too.
Replace the 57 with the Green Line!!! The people demand more transit, more new routes
$75 K raised for Middlesex & Boston trolley #41 :: Seashore Trolley Museum

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