Portland’s Next Streetcar


The Portland Streetcar Board had the opportunity to tour the work on our prototype “made in America” vehicle at Oregon Iron Works on Wednesday.


Manufacturing should be completed by the end of the year, and the car running on Portland’s streets sometime in Q1 ’09 after thorough testing.


This is where the bridge plate gets installed.





This is the “bogie”, the structure that holds the drive motors and suspension.


Compared to Czech manufacturing methods, Oregon Iron Works (through its joint venture with Skoda, United Streetcar) invests up-front in a lot of fixtures and jigs which speeds downstream manufacturing and increases quality.

0 responses to “Portland’s Next Streetcar”

  1. I’m glad to see the jigs: Once they build and test a few of these things, I expect that they can sell quite a few to both our streetcar line (and hopefully lineS in the near future,) and other cities as well. Compared to building automobiles, streetcars is a growth industry.

  2. The OIW/Skoda joint venture is starting from a Skoda design, so the basic chassis will be similar to (and hopefully share many spare parts with) the first seven Portland cars built by the Inekon/Skoda partnership.

    There will be external cosmetic differences, just as there are on the most recent three cars, built by the Inekoon/Ostrava partnership.

  3. This is fantastic that Portland could economically gain from the renewed interest in public transit! Are these streetcars going to be marketed to cities across the country? If so, will PDX-based companies have any inherent advantage to scoring contracts?

  4. Hello Everyone!
    I’d love to see trackless trolleys/electric trolley buses return to Portland and run on the major transit streets. I totally support Electric trolley buses in Portland, let help writing lot of letters to TRIMET in highest priority:
    Hawthorne, NW 23rd, Belmont, MLK/Grand, Broadway, 82nd/Killingsworth, and Jackson Park to OHSU/VA HOSP, and What TRIMET selected route for Trolleybus/Electric BUS and maintains Streetcars and LRT. I know that Streetcar and Trolleybuses are effective service. I had been contacted with my senator, City of Portland, and TRIMET.

    Didnt TriMet seriously consider trolley buses two seperate times in the mid 70s and then again in the early 80s? SMILE, let me know.

  5. Are these streetcars going to be marketed to cities across the country?

    Around the world! I’m told there was already a bid on an order for Dubai :-)

    If so, will PDX-based companies have any inherent advantage to scoring contracts?

    There are already a number of local subcontractors.

  6. Aaron, I love the idea of other cities buying street cars from us. I was recently in Austin TX, and I hated hearing a local say, “Those are from the old streetcars, they’ll be torn up soon,” about the tracks in the road.

    Please, Austin (and other cities!) think of build a streetcar through neighborhoods that support it.

    I know Erik will jump on it, but I like the streetcar a lot more than a bus. If everything was a 2800 I might not care so much, but the streetcars seem more reliable to me. Also, the route is easier to remember, and to explain to tourists.

    I know that streetcars cost more, but I have to admit my parents rave about the marginally-nice hotel they stayed at because of the proximity to the streetcar. Hell, just for that my Mom brags about Portland to (it sounds like) everyone she meets.

  7. “Are these streetcars going to be marketed to cities across the country?”

    Any project that uses Federal money to build out has to comply with the “buy American first” provisions… that is why Blumenauer got this set up between Skoda and Oregon Iron. OI is now the only American street car manufacturer- so they will get all the future street car business.


  8. Tucson is pretty far along in the planning stages of building a streetcar system. Their renderings show a vehicle much like the Skoda-Inekon. The planned route appears to be like totally rad.

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