Two weeks ago, Atlanta got another step closer towards opening its downtown streetcar. The first two of four new streetcars were delivered to their maintenance facility located under the downtown connector at Fort Street. The sleek, modern vehicles arrive with some time to spare, as it is not set to open until May at the earliest. However, to help pass the time, we looked into some of the details of these new streetcars.
The arrival of Atlanta’s streetcars marks the first delivery of new rail transit vehicles since MARTA’s last rail car acquisition in the early 2000s. Manufactured by Siemens, the streetcars are S70 models, which are popular throughout the United States operating in cities such as Charlotte, Houston, and Norfolk. Primarily built at Siemens’ Sacramento facility, different components of the vehicles were built throughout the United States, including the propulsion systems in Alpharetta. These will push the streetcars to a maximum operating speed of 35 mph on the 2.6 mile downtown loop.
The S70 streetcar is a low-floor vehicle, meaning it will provide passengers with level-boarding convenience at all twelve of the designated stops. This will enable the system to be fully ADA compliant. Each streetcar will seat 60 passengers with a total capacity of 195. Also, the S70 model will allow for future interoperability along other planned streetcar or light rail corridors such as the BeltLine and the associated cross-town routes.
One of the next steps in construction on the downtown route will be the installation of the overhead catenary wire, which will power the electric streetcars. Once this is done, the streetcar will undergo required testing prior to the service opening to the public. During, the first three months of operation, passengers will be able to ride the system for free, so make sure to stay tuned so you can check out the new streetcars for yourself.
To read more about the streetcars, click HERE.