Street Car

Retro Transportation systems are in the news, here's a recent example 

Beginning on Monday, June 19, Kenosha's new electric streetcar begins operating on its summer schedule. On Mondays through Fridays, the first trip begins at 11 a.m., with streetcars operating every 15 minutes until the last trip begins at 7:05 p.m. The Saturday service begins at 10:05 a.m., with streetcars operating every 15 minutes until the last trip begins at 5:35 p.m. This summer, fare for the streetcar will be $.25. The electric streetcar is reminiscent of the streetcar used in Kenosha before 1955 and connects Kenosha's METRA train station from Chicago to the Lakeshore Business District and the new HarborPark lakefront development. For more details, call Kenosha City Transit at 1(262) 653-4290.

The Project

The City of Kenosha is constructing an electric streetcar system utilizing historic PCC streetcars in coordination with the Harborpark Development on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Kenosha streetcar system will connect the 64 acre Harborpark development into the existing central city area and the METRA commuter rail station.

Harborpark grading, including the installation of the track subbase was completed in the fall of 1998. The streets in Harborpark were completed in the fall of 1999 including the streetcar track. Electric overhead construction was completed in April of 2000 and is being tested at the present time.

The first streetcar was delivered on Thursday, May 4, 2000. Additional cars will be delivered at the rate of one car every 4 weeks until all five cars have been delivered. Each car will be painted in unique livery that represents a transit system that operated PCC Streetcars.

The Dedication of the Streetcar line and the new Transit Center will be held at 12:30 PM on June 17, 2000. The event will feature streetcar rides, food music and car house tours. Scheduled service will begin on Monday June 19, 2000

The streetcar system will be operated with 5 remanufactured PCC Streetcars that were formerly operated on the Toronto Lakefront Streetcar Line. The PCC cars are esthetically pleasing and will provide conspicuous, high quality circulator service for people living, shopping and working in the area. The presence of the streetcars will enhance the character of the area while providing needed mobility, reliably, with zero emissions.

The city of Kenosha's approved Harborpark Plan was developed through a very public planning process that insured that the vision for the project embodied the will of the community. The keystone of the project will be a new neighborhood comprised of 400 urban housing units. The housing will need to be supported by new retail, commercial and restaurant facilities.

Kenosha Transit's streetcar system will demonstrate the feasibility of reintroducing zero emission, electric transit into mid-west cities and the application of special short haul transit applications. A state of the art power supply system will be evaluated to demonstrate technology that can reduce electric utility infrastructure costs, reduce operating costs and has power peak shaving capability built in.

The City of Kenosha, Wisconsin has been a leader in implementing alternate fuels technology and operates 12 Compressed Natural Gas buses. The 12 CNG buses represent over 28% of the 42 bus Kenosha Transit Fleet. When the 5 PCC Streetcars are placed in service over 36% of the Kenosha Transit's revenue vehicles will be powered by alternate fuels.

The Route

The route begins at the METRA Commuter Rail Station and travels south on 11th Ave. to 56th Street. The PCC Streetcars will operate in the grass boulevard in the center of 56th St. running east through the Civic Center, past the 6th Ave. Retail District, the new Harborpark Neighborhood, Southport Marina, and terminating at Celebration Park adjacent to Lake Michigan. The return trip will operate between Harborwalk Park and 54th Street past the Museum Complex, the north side of the Harborpark Condominiums, Navy Park, City Hall, and Kenosha Transit's new downtown Transit Center. The streetcars will operate in the curb lane of 54th Street between 8th Ave. and 11th Ave., stopping at Sheridan Road and the Public Safety Building before returning to the METRA Commuter Rail Station.

Future expansions could begin at Navy Park run north in the street on 6th Avenue to 50th St., where there could be a turn around loop, or a connection to the existing double track, in the center of 7th Avenue. The existing track in 7th Ave. may be uncovered and restored to safe operating condition from 50th St. to 38th St. if economically feasible.

The Streetcar House is be located on 54th St. at 8th Avenue, and is part of the new Kenosha Transit Center. Streetcar House Construction was completed in January of 2000.

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