Back in November, the first of Cincinnati's five streetcars was delivered. Since then, the second has arrived with the rest of the fleet heading here via Spain and Elmira, New York. The vehicles and system are currently undergoing an extensive, federally mandated testing process with the full system slated to open in September. Recently, I finally crossed paths with one of the trains while it was testing.
Loaded with water barrels to simulate passenger weight, vehicle No. 1176 was parked near the corner of 2nd and Main during a testing period. One of the system's stations is located just to the left of the above photograph and serves The Banks, Smale Riverfront Park, and stadiums.
No. 1176 is the second vehicle in the city's fleet. The first to arrive, No. 1175, continued the numbering system that stopped with 1174 at the end of original streetcar service on April 29, 1951.
The low floor vehicles mark the return of rail transit to the region and the city's first modern rail system. The system is designed as an urban circulator, intended to move passengers around the riverfront, downtown, Central Business District and Over-The-Rhine. Upon opening, Cincinnati will join the likes of Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Kansas City, Dallas, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City in operating modern streetcar lines.
These photographs were made on Thursday January 7th, 2016.
The same area under construction in October 2015 via an iPhone: