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The "Red Ladies" will return to Canal St. this Summer! FEMA coughed up $21.6 million to restore the flood-damaged red Von Dullen cars that ran on the Canal Line. The first restored car should roll this summer with each additional car rolling out every two months. See the Times-Picayune story here. This news, combined with the RTA's announcement that part of the St. Charles line will be open by Christmas is some of the best stuff about NOLA's recovery I've heard in a long time.
Update to my previous post:
Car 930 was towed from Willow St. to Canal and successfully completed a round-trip on the Riverfront Line. The Times Picayune reports that Riverfront service could begin as early as Christmas Eve. The Canal Line has a rectifier problem but the route can be used from the river all the way to Crozat St. Pictures can be found here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Streetcar service will resume THIS SUNDAY instead of Christmas Eve! And it's free!!! Article here.
Word has it that NORTA will be towing one of the St. Charles cars from the Carrolton Station to the Canal line on Monday in order to restore partial streetcar service to the Canal (and possibly Riverfront?) line. This is a really big deal because the green St. Charles 900-series cars are on the National Register of Historic Places and are not normally allowed by law to travel on any route other than the St. Charles line. I'm very happy that RTA is doing this and I'm currently considering taking Monday off just to document this event and ride on one of the streetcars for the first time since before Katrina. I sincerely hope that RTA is able to repair the electrical service to the St. Charles line soon. When the streetcars are rolling and clanking down St. Chuck again it truly will be time to celebrate.