Two Bombardier Flexity streetcars shipped from Germany arrived at the Port of Tacoma last week. They were transferred to special-purpose road trailers for the final leg of their trip, to Vancouver, British Columbia.
"We are very pleased to be handling this equipment," said Susan Becklund, director of operational services at the Port of Tacoma. "The teamwork and support on this project provided by our longshore labor force as well as the Washington State Department of Transportation have been outstanding."
The streetcars arrived aboard Wallenius Wilhelmsen's Tomar on December 2, after a 10,460-mile journey from Germany. After picking up the cargo in Bremerhaven, the vessel visited Zeebrugge, Southampton, the Panama Canal, and Port Hueneme before reaching Tacoma.
The streetcars were manufactured by Bombardier Transportation. Each is about 105 feet long and comprises five articulated modules. Transport from Tacoma to Vancouver, B.C., was handled by 21st Century Transport, Inc., with assistance from Chapman Hauling.
"We are delighted to bring the first 100% low-floor streetcar to North America," said Steve Hall, Bombardier's general manager in Vancouver. "The people of Metro Vancouver will now have the opportunity to experience first hand the latest in European streetcar design during the excitement of the 2010 Winter Games."
The City of Vancouver and Bombardier Transportation are partnering to provide free streetcar service for Vancouver residents and visitors on the Olympic Line from mid-January to mid-March 2010. They are expecting to carry about 500,000 passengers during that time. See Bombardier's special Web site for more information.