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Streetcars Return to St. Charles Avenue

20 December 2006

It was a very exciting time for locals and tourists alike. The famed streetcars on St. Charles Avenue began to roll yesterday afternoon, December 19th, 2006. Amid quite a bit of fanfare by local officials including mayor Ray Nagin, several of the original cars made their way from Lee Circle to Canal Street and back. This is the first phase of the St. Charles line restoration that will continue into 2007 and on into early 2008 according to officials.

For those out-of-towners not familiar with the line, it is now open about 1/3 of the route running from the French Quarter to the edge of the Lower Garden District, just near the Highway 90 Westbank over pass on St. Charles Avenue. The second phase of the restoration will extend to Napoleon Avenue and completion of this section is targeted for the end of the summer, 2006. The final leg ending on Carrollton Avenue will not be completed until early 2008. Although an inconvenience for locals and tourists for now, the new three phase electrical connection will prevent major downtimes in the future and will keep most of the system running if one area has trouble. In the past, the entire system would be effected if there was a problem.

For more information on the day’s activities, go to CNN’s travel site.  

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