H Street/Benning Road Streetcars Moving Into the District

Streetcars moving from Greenbelt to begin new testing phase in Anacostia

Thursday, May 2, 2013  |  Updated 12:19 AM EDT
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D.C. is one step closer to bringing streetcars back into the city's public transportation system. Tom Sherwood reports.

Tom Sherwood

D.C. is one step closer to bringing streetcars back into the city's public transportation system. Tom Sherwood reports.

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RAW VIDEO: Workers Align Streetcar to Track

Workers align a streetcar to a track for testing in Anacostia.

RAW VIDEO: Streetcar Arriving in Anacostia for Testing

A streetcar arrives in Anacostia from Greenbelt for testing.
More Photos and Videos

D.C.'s new streetcars are on the move.

On Wednesday, Mayor Vincent Gray officially welcomed the District's first set of streetcars, which are arriving from Greenbelt to begin a new testing phase in Anacostia. The first streetcar arrived Tuesday; a second arrived Wednesday, with a third to follow.

Three more are on order from Portland, reported News4's Tom Sherwood.

The streetcars are styled to resemble the city's Circulator buses: bright red, with a gray and yellow double helix. (A panel also revealed Wednesday a new proposed design for D.C. taxicabs to follow a similar color scheme.)

Also on hand for Wednesday's welcoming: DDOT Director Terry Bellamy and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.

The streetcars will be operated at the Anacostia Testing and Commissioning Site until this fall, when they're transferred to the busy H Street corridor to begin certification.

The planned streetcar line will run two miles along H Street and Benning Road.

By June, crews will install "turnaround" tracks north of Union Station, DDOT said. After that, new traffic signals will go up along the roadway to control the flow of traffic and rail cars, and electrical wires will be installed to power the cars.

Road construction was completed in 2011.

The fare structure for the forthcoming streetcar line has not yet been determined, Sherwood reported.

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