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Old 03-05-2013, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
sure it is. usually there is some combination of grass and pavement along the line. on some streets it runs in traffic sharing the road with other vehicles. on others it might be grade separated on its own grass track in the middle of the road or alongside the road. in some areas there might be no road at all and you have the tracks all by themselves. that's the flexibility you get with rail. ideally you want to install grade separation wherever you can to take advantage of grass tracks and signal priority and minimizing time the streetcar spends in traffic improving service and reliability. on narrower streets along the route that don't have enough room for grade separation it can share the street with other traffic.


fort collins heritage trolley on street


fort collins trolley - grade separated
Fort Collins is a fantastic example of what a heritage streetcar should be. They totally restored one of the three streetcar lines that ran in Fort Collins. Not only is it the exact same track that the original line used, but thats one of the same streetcars that ran on that line, until 1951. They have recreated history perfectly.

So yes, that is a streetcar, from the original definition of the word.

The Kenosha one is another story. I wouldn't even classify that as a heritage streetcar line. There is no heritage involved in that project. PCC streetcars never ran in Kenosha to the best of my knowledge, and PCC streetcars never did what they are doing with them. I'd call that a modern streetcar system using historic equipment. Incidentally it looks like a line from nowhere to nowhere. From the pictures I've seen it looks like there is never more then two or three people riding each streetcar.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Fort Collins is a fantastic example of what a heritage streetcar should be. They totally restored one of the three streetcar lines that ran in Fort Collins. Not only is it the exact same track that the original line used, but thats one of the same streetcars that ran on that line, until 1951. They have recreated history perfectly.

So yes, that is a streetcar, from the original definition of the word.

yes they are stunning to look at, real headturners. they did great restoration work on them. the wood interiors are just as great. I like the large airy windows which makes it look almost semi-open air.


fort collins 21 car interior



Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
I'd call that a modern streetcar system using historic equipment. Incidentally it looks like a line from nowhere to nowhere. From the pictures I've seen it looks like there is never more then two or three people riding each streetcar.

the way PCC cars are designed its kinda hard to see inside them very well so I wouldn't judge ridership just by the pictures. the current streetcar line in Kenosha has been in operation since 2000. it runs in a two-mile loop in its own right-of-way, connects the local commuter rail station to downtown attractions, a transit center, and a newish 64-acre Harborpark residential development on the lake michigan shore, etc. it travels along a scenic route with lots of attractions and things to do along the way. so its actually pretty popular among locals and tourists. in November 2012 the Kenosha city council voted 16 to 1 in favor of expanding the streetcar system by at least double. they're planning to start work on it this year. so looks to me like it has been a success story.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
the way PCC cars are designed its kinda hard to see inside them very well so I wouldn't judge ridership just by the pictures. the current streetcar line in Kenosha has been in operation since 2000. it runs in a two-mile loop in its own right-of-way, connects the local commuter rail station to downtown attractions, a transit center, and a newish 64-acre Harborpark residential development on the lake michigan shore, etc. it travels along a scenic route with lots of attractions and things to do along the way. so its actually pretty popular among locals and tourists. in November 2012 the Kenosha city council voted 16 to 1 in favor of expanding the streetcar system by at least double. they're planning to start work on it this year. so looks to me like it has been a success story.
I understand that during special events and stuff, they get a fair amount of riders on those streetcars in Kenosha. But I'm looking at videos like the ones below that seem show many of the streetcars looping around with one or two passengers, if any on them. That doesn't look good to me. It's kind of sad to see those cars running empty like that.

As for the extension. Are they expanding it due to overwhelming demand, or are they acknowledging that it doesn't really go anywhere, so they are trying to fix it? Either way I hope it works for them, but I'm skeptical.


07/22/12 Kenosha trolley departs - YouTube


Kenosha Streetcar - YouTube


Kenosha Streetcar "Great Pumpkin" - YouTube
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
I understand that during special events and stuff, they get a fair amount of riders on those streetcars in Kenosha. But I'm looking at videos like the ones below that seem show many of the streetcars looping around with one or two passengers, if any on them. That doesn't look good to me. It's kind of sad to see those cars running empty like that.

As for the extension. Are they expanding it due to overwhelming demand, or are they acknowledging that it doesn't really go anywhere, so they are trying to fix it? Either way I hope it works for them, but I'm skeptical.

the streetcar runs in the heart of downtown through the central business district the busiest part of the city. it also passes through several dense residential areas so people who live near the line can take it to and from work. so I wouldn't it say doesn't go anywhere. in the middle of a work day you might not see a lot of people on it because the people are at work. or it could be on a test run or training run when it would be empty. maybe it just started its first run of the day and hasn't picked up any passengers yet, who knows. its hard to judge the videos without knowing the context.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:19 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Kenosha's streetcar get very ridership:

List of United States light rail systems by ridership - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Thanks. Yeah, thats what I thought. 300 daily boarding. #32 out of 33. Only ahead of the Galveston Island Trolley which is currently shut down due to damage from Hurricane Ike.

I think thats a big FAIL. Trying to extend that is going to be like putting money into a black hole.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Prepperland
13,736 posts, read 9,848,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Thanks. Yeah, thats what I thought. 300 daily boarding. #32 out of 33. Only ahead of the Galveston Island Trolley which is currently shut down due to damage from Hurricane Ike.

I think thats a big FAIL. Trying to extend that is going to be like putting money into a black hole.
UNLESS, the extension connects two destinations that ARE desirable, and would serve more customers.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
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Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
UNLESS, the extension connects two destinations that ARE desirable, and would serve more customers.
OK, but the problems is that it currently connects a train station to the waterfront. Most of the line is surrounded by water. What desirable destinations are they going to extend it to?

IMHO, they have already spent too much on it. This one of those cases where they should have just bought one of those fake trolly cars built on top of a bus frame, and used that to shuttle people back and forth between the station and the lake. It would have costed a fraction as much, and probably accomplished the same thing.


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Old 03-10-2013, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
OK, but the problems is that it currently connects a train station to the waterfront. Most of the line is surrounded by water. What desirable destinations are they going to extend it to?

IMHO, they have already spent too much on it. This one of those cases where they should have just bought one of those fake trolly cars built on top of a bus frame, and used that to shuttle people back and forth between the station and the lake. It would have costed a fraction as much, and probably accomplished the same thing.


5 million dollars is too much? that's what the entire project cost which was nothing, less than the cost of opening a bus route. several of the trolley cars were donated. when first opened the tiny two-mile route was intended as a demonstration line so they were not expecting heavy ridership. kenosha is a small sparsely populated bedroom community in the process of redeveloping after decades of stagnate growth and collapse of its manufacturing industry. the old industrial areas are being redeveloped to mixed-use and recreational areas. you can't expect a two-mile streetcar line in a small mostly residential suburb to attract a lot of ridership. but the investment was still worth it because the cost was so small and with the recent TOD it has attracted along the lake front and downtown, it has more than paid off. he ridership numbers are bound to go up as redevelopment progresses.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
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That "map" remnds me odf a little Lionel set under the tree at Christmas - <s?>.

But seriously, Kenosha was, until the early Sixties, one of the places well-served by the "North Shore" a/k/a Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee; one of last of the great "interurban" systems (the "South Shore", or Chicago, South Shore and South Bend, and Philadelphia's Red Arrow line to Norristown, survive to this day.

But that network had connections; it went from somewhere to somewhere, with a few medium-sized opportunities in between, and it had direct access to the Loop via an arrangement with the Chicago Transit Authority. The system shown above serves only as a feeder to the suburban rail staion at one end, and I doubt that there are many neighborhoods nearby with a density of population sufficient to warrant expansion.

This one is likely in the same small pond as Detroit's "people mover" and the "elevated bus" loop which has served Morgantown, WV for almost five decades. A limitied curiosity which is unlikely to ever earn the costs of maintaining and upgrading itself on its own.
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