Streetcar Guts

I had the opportunity to lead a group from the Streetcar Citizens Advisory Committee out to Oregon Iron Works for a check-in on the new vehicle. Here are some photos of the various components coming together.


More after the jump…






12 responses to “Streetcar Guts”

  1. The thing that struck me the most (in one case literally) was the amount of wiring … I know there are many subsystems, but seeing everything exposed before the panels were put in place I was astonished at just how complex the internal wiring can get on a large vehicle.

  2. I hope the orders flood in for this product…such that OIW needs more space to ramp up production. The Western Star Truck plant may be on the market soon here on Swan Island where OIW already has a joint venture, US Barge, building barges at the shipyards.

  3. I sure would like to see these running up and down the mall instead of 190 foot long light rail trains.

  4. Some day Jim, you will get your wish. Meanwhile 5th & 6th have twice the width of Morrison and Yamhill, so I think the new MAX lines will be OK, even cool.

  5. One concern with the mall will be the rubber tire vehicles playing leapfrog with the all steel ones. Visions of prolonged signal cycles repeated throughout a trip along 5th & 6th come to mind. Does anyone have information to the contrary?

  6. Remember it all happens at 12 MPH. Generally bus operators who dislike the Mall will just try that much harder to sign up non-Mall runs. Trains will have ROW, but as is the case with Yamhill/Morrison, they will get to wait their share for signals.

  7. What I’m worried about is drivers not following the signs and turning right. In general, we don’t do a good job of disallowing bad drivers. I feel that looking for and obeying signage is one of the rules of driving, and that people who don’t follow the rules of driving should have their licenses taken away. Its one of the reasons why there’s so many crashes.

    Another problem is that people making left turns can back up traffic waiting for pedestrians to clear the parallel crosswalk. And the back corner of long vehicles may have to swing into the transit lanes when they are turning.

  8. Rail vehicles will get first green and then everybody else. Maybe peds will get to go with MAX so that the rubber tired ones won’t have to back up every time. However, if the synchronization of crossing one-way traffic is sacrosanct, then buses & cars will have a very short signal period potentially leading to dumb moves.

  9. Is this streetcar based on either of the models in service now, or is it a new design? It looks cool, either way.

  10. It is based on a design licensed from Skoda. Skoda made the first batch of streetcars in use in Portland.

    An OIW representative stated they’ve made a number of subtle changes and improvements, including for improving long-term maintenance and durability. But an itemized list of improvements/changes was not available.

    While Skoda is apparently free to license the base design to any manufacturer, any improvements that OIW makes are exclusive to OIW, so it is possible for them to compete on design/features even if Skoda licenses to others. OIW’s long term goal is to have a design which is standardized and easily adaptable for many customers. One example given is that the car can adapt to larger HVAC systems if needed, for hot climates such as Tucson.

  11. Is this streetcar based on either of the models in service now, or is it a new design?

    Mostly. All three designs have common heritage.

    The first seven cars in Portland’s fleet were built by a partnership of Inekon and Skoda, based on a Skoda platform.

    Skoda and Inekon has a split and our most recent three cars were built in the shop of the transit agency in Ostrava under a partnership with Inekon based on a similar design to the first seven (yes, there was a lawsuit about that).

    Oregon Iron Works has licensed the platform design from Skoda, but has converted the design to American standards (but still in metric units) along the way.

  12. Lenny, the signal cycles will have to match the rest of the downtown system, so they should remain essentially unchanged (maybe a few more seconds for 5th/6th and a few less seconds for cross-streets).

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