LIMITED tram services resumed in New Orleans on December 18, four months after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Earlier estimates indicated it might take a year to restore the services, but RTA has come up with a compromise.

The 35 historic Perley Thomas cars used on the St Charles Line survived the hurricane, but the right-of-way and power supply were badly damaged. Conversely, the infrastructure on the Riverfront Line and part of the Canal Line remained largely operational, but the recently-built cars required extensive repairs to flood damage.

A successful test on December 10 comfirmed that the older cars can work on the modern routes. RTA plans to use eight cars on the Riverfront Line, and the others to work a truncated Canal Street service from the French Market to Crozat Street. Both routes will be free until March.