• New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by trolleyguy
 
It is beginning to look as if Hurricane Katrina may have added New Orleans' famed streetcar system to the "Fallen Flags" list.

There has been so much damage done to the City of New Orleans by the floodwaters from Lake Pontchartrain (more than 80% of the city is underwater and the city has had to be entirely evacuated) that it is going to be months, if not years, before the majority of its residents can return - and for most of them, their homes, personal property, and jobs have been destroyed. There is literally nothing left for most of them to come back to but water-soaked houses contaminated with mud, sewage, poisonous snakes and other tropical reptiles and fish, and chemicals).

Most housing will have to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. It will take years before New Orleans can begin to function as it did before the hurricane struck.

I'm afraid that the streetcars there may very well have turned their last wheels, because there is no one left to take care of them, or to ride on them. The cars themselves have been flooded by the foul brackish (salty) waters, and have likely suffered extensive damage. They will be sitting there, rotting away for months, if not years, before anyone can get working to rehabilitate them.

Tourists are not going to be coming back to New Orleans for a very long time, either. There is even debate in the United States Congress as to whether it makes any sense to throw federal dollars and effort into rebuilding this city, only to have another hurricane come along and wipe it out again. There are suggestions being made that New Orleans should be moved inland and rebuilt from scratch, abandoning its present below-sea-level location, which has now been rendered uninhabitable by the flooding. If it survives in its present location, the city will likely be only a shadow of its former self.

Therefore, I am prepared for the likelihood that we will have to bid a fond and very sad farewell to New Orleans and its lovely old streetcars.
:(

  by Aa3rt
 
trolleyguy, Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I'd thought about the fate of the New Orleans trolleys myself, but in the face of the drama and suffering that is still playing out, the status of the trolley system seems to be of minor importance.

IF the city of New Orleans is rebuilt, as so many talking heads on the news channels are already discussing, I would hope that public transit would be a major consideration in the transportation needs of the city. Let us hope that the line, if rebuilt, is restored to the character and charm of the current (pre-Katrina) line and not utilize those hideous LRVs!

  by aline1969
 
I have just heard that the ST. Charles cars are ok, not flooded... just hope the bad people don't burn the barn down...fools those bad gangs are.

The Riverfront/Canal cars along with the buses are wrecked, total loss...flooded to thier fare boxes I was told.

  by njt4172
 
Heard that the 35 undamaged St. Charles streetcars are now running on some of the Riverfront line.......Pretty rare if you ask me......Anyone have pictures??

Steve

  by JimBoylan
 
njt4172 wrote:Heard that the 35 undamaged St. Charles streetcars are now running on some of the Riverfront line
News accounts say that the Mayor asked the RTA to do this, but I don't think that the connecting wires have been rehung yet.

  by railfanofewu
 
Any Legal Issues preventing them from doing this? I mean, they are not ADA Compliant, and being on the Historic Register, I guess it is impossible to find a way to fit them with wheelchair lifts.

  by njt4172
 
Heard the whole stretch of the Canal Street Line was in service as of Sunday, April 2nd.... :wink:

  by railfanofewu
 
njt4172 wrote:Heard the whole stretch of the Canal Street Line was in service as of Sunday, April 2nd.... :wink:
That would be great news, another small step toward returning to normalcy.

  by pennsy
 
Hi All,

Glad to hear that the St. Charles st. trolleys are okay. I spent some time on the Tulane University Campus and still wear my Tulane sweat shirt from time to time. Great ride, beautiful Southern homes and a great way to get to Metairie, and the famous cemetery there. Additionally, there are some great restaurants along that route as well. And they are, by comparison to the French Quarter, reasonably priced.
  by fordhamroad
 
-anyone have an update on rebuilding New Orleans trolleys post Katrina, and how do things stand? Thanks

Roger

  by pennsy
 
Considering the fact that a lot of money was donated to the repair etc. of the New Orleans disaster, and the fact that most of that money went into some "peoples" pockets, good luck. It is nice to donate money for such disaster relief, but until such funds are properly allocated, forget it. I now check out the pedigree and background of such agencies.
  by CabraBuitre
 
Roger,

Check out the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority website:
http://www.norta.com/

The St. Charles line is up and running:
http://www.norta.com/StCharles/

Looks like the Riverfront line is running too, though I don't know how extensive the use is or how often they're running vs. pre-Katrina.
  by fordhamroad
 
-Hi, just got back from a few days in New Orleans, end of May. The St Charles line is indeed alive and well and has been almost completely restored. The old St. Charles streetcars are running on Canal St. as well, and on tre River Line. Local newspapers report thet they are rebuilding the more modern red "Old" cars, which were bady hurt by flood immersion. Construction under a federal grant is taking place in their own shops, should have some done in a few months. Slow, but looks sure. Delightful to trolley ride out to the Garden District or along the river line.

Roger
  by farecard
 
I was there the weekend before the election; and rode the Canal and St. Charles lines.

One of my questions involved non-revenue trackage. I recall a spur coming off the St. Charles, headed toward the river. It was somewhere near the Garden District, but can't find a mention of it. Does anyone know of it?
  by atsf sp
 
Are all lines of the system operating now? And how many cars are still out because of Katrina damage?