After being mothballed for more than four decades, undergoing two years of extensive renovation, and making a 3,600 mile round trip to the Keystone State, the very first of El Paso’s vintage streetcars is scheduled to be back in the Sun City next week, according to the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority.
Because of weather, traffic and other unpredictable variables outside of its control, a day-by-day itinerary for Car No. 1506’s travel is unavailable.
Once the streetcar arrives in El Paso, it will be unloaded and transported immediately into the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) at 601 South Santa Fe Street for inspection by the CRRMA and Sun Metro.
Officials add that members of the public will not be able to access the streetcar upon its arrival. The CRRMA and the City of El Paso will soon announce public events to celebrate the streetcar’s homecoming.
Car No. 1506, part of the fleet of streetcars which ran in El Paso until 1974, is the first of six vintage Presidents Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars to be refurbished and modernized as part of the $97 million El Paso Streetcar Project
El Paso’s fleet of six historic PCC streetcars left El Paso on November 12 and December 10, 2015, bound for extensive renovation by Brookville Equipment Corporation in Brookville, Pa.
Each of the six streetcars will be painted in one of three vintage color schemes from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Car No. 1506 is painted in the red and green 1970s color pattern.
The return of the first streetcar will allow the CRRMA to begin a rigorous, months-long testing phase to ensure the system is safe before Sun Metro begins operating the service for the public. In the coming weeks, you’ll see streetcars running along the 4.8 mile route but you won’t be able to board. An exact date for the beginning of on-street testing has not been announced.
Below are some important tips to remember as we welcome the first streetcar back to El Paso:
- Other than traveling on a fixed route, the streetcars will operate much like other vehicles. They will have a maximum speed of approximately 25 miles per hour, obeying all traffic laws and — in most cases — they will travel with other vehicles in a travel lane.
- The Streetcar is powered by lines running above the street which carry 650 DC volts of electricity. Always consider every line to be fully energized. Never touch the wires or anything touching the wires.
- Don’t ride your bike along the rails your tire can get stuck between the rail and the pavement. When you cross the rails, do so at a 90-degree angle.
- Pedestrians should also use extra caution when crossing the rails or walking near the streetcar line.
- For more information, call (844) 252-RAIL.
Click here to view bilingual safety videos produced by the CRRMA as part of the El Paso Streetcar Project.