3 new generation streetcars arrive in Md. for D.C. project

By Ashley Halsey III
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The District is losing a panda to China but gaining three red inchworms from the Czech Republic.

Actually, they're streetcars, but they resemble worms because they share the ability to bend in a couple of places, making them more nimble than streetcars of old when it comes to negotiating turns. They are about eight feet wide and 66 feet long and are powered by overhead electrical lines.

The three cars, built in the Czech Republic by Skoda-Inekon, arrived in Baltimore by ship over the weekend and were loaded onto flatbed trucks for the trip to Metro's Greenbelt Yard, where they will sit until the first D.C. streetcar tracks are ready for them.

The District Department of Transportation says the first project, a 1.5-mile line in Anacostia, should be operating by fall 2012.

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