First street car arrives in Over-the-Rhine - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

First street car arrives in Over-the-Rhine

(PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW)
(PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW)
(PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW) (PHOTO: Ben Katko/FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The first streetcar safely arrived in Cincinnati Friday afternoon.
 
It was delivered to the system’s maintenance facility on Race Street on Friday after a two-day trip on the back of a flatbed from Elmira, New York.  Elmira is nearly 600 miles from Cincinnati.

"Today represents, obviously, a major milestone for the project,” said city spokesperson Rocky Merz.

Hundreds of people lined Race Street in Over-the-Rhine as the first car was delivered around 5 p.m. on Friday.

"I'm waiting here with baited breath,” said Earl Clark. He has been waiting a long time for this.

"I'm choked up at times, yes,” he said.

Clark is now 92-years old.  He was on the last ride of the last streetcar system in Cincinnati 64 years ago in 1951.

"In those days, everywhere you wanted to go, you would take a streetcar,” Clark told FOX19 NOW.
           
In September 2016, people will start taking a streetcar through the streets again. The car delivered on Friday will get things moving starting with testing of the $150 million system next month.
 
“There's quite a bit of work.  I want to make sure people understand that. Just because the car's here, you're not going to be able to get on it tomorrow. 

A lot of work has to happen, and if we continue to stay focused, we should be open for passenger service in September,” Merz said.

Tests on the track will start in two weeks.  According to Merz, the hope is to have the car maneuvering itself around the tracks by the end of November.

"I always had my concerns about the finances of it, and I still do.  But, we came in on time and on budget,” said city council member Amy Murray.

Every streetcar has a number.  The last one built for the city some sixty years ago was numbered 1174.  The one delivered on Friday followed in order coming in at number 1175, "I never knew that I would be able to still be around at the age of 92 to see the new streetcar,” Clark said.

City leaders say there are still four more cars due for delivery. Of them, two are expected by the end of this year, with the last two slated for delivery by next spring.

The streetcar will be a 3.6 mile loop running from the Banks, downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

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