Tempe Streetcar delivery

USA: Phoenix operator Valley Metro has taken delivery of the first of six Liberty NXT trams from Brookville Equipment Corp to work the 4·8 km Tempe Streetcar line which is scheduled to open this year.

Ordered in 2017 at cost of $33m, the trams are fitted with a lithium-ion battery which will be charged from the overhead electrification, allowing catenary-free operation on Mill Avenue in central Tempe.

The 70% low-floor three-section trams can carry up to 120 passengers, including 40 seated. They have an automatic load levelling system for level boarding at stops. The design includes a crashworthy frame designed in compliance with ASME RT-1 standards for streetcar vehicles and California Public Utilities Commission buff strength requirements.

The trams meet Buy America requirements for at least 70% US content. ‘These vehicles integrate the latest in rail technology systems and are designed and manufactured by an American workforce’, said Brookville Vice-President of Business Development Joel McNeil on March 15.

Brookville introduced its Liberty Streetcar design in 2012, with the first vehicles delivered to Dallas in 2015. Off-wire capable Liberty Streetcars are now in service with DART in Dallas (four), QLINE in Detroit (six), Oklahoma City Streetcar (seven vehicles) and The Hop in Milwaukee (five). As well as the Tempe cars, the manufacturer has orders to supply five for Sound Transit’s Line T and three for the Portland Streetcar.