PHOTOS: Cincinnati’s First Modern Streetcar Arrives in Over-the-Rhine

On Friday, October 30, Cincinnati’s first modern streetcar vehicle arrived at the Maintenance and Operations Facility in Over-the-Rhine.

A crowd was gathered on Race Street as Cincinnati Streetcar #1175, which continues the numbering system Metro used for its streetcars when they went out of service decades ago, arrived on the back of a flatbed truck and was carefully lowered onto the track and towed into the building.

The most common reaction overheard from the crowd was, “It’s big!” While renderings of the streetcar have been available online, many people will be surprised when they see the streetcars in person. Each vehicle can hold 150 passengers, about three times more than a bus.

The remaining four streetcars are expected to arrive in Cincinnati by February 5, 2016. Each vehicle must be thoroughly tested before allowing passengers on board, so don’t be surprised if you see streetcars throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine over the next several months.

The system is still expected to open to passengers in September 2016.

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These 14 photos were taken by Travis Estell and John Yung for UrbanCincy.

  • Mark Christol

    Thanks for posting the shot showing how they got the wheels into place on the track.
    How are they moving this sucker around now? Do they have some sort of tractor or battery?

    • A standard tow truck (one of the big ones that can haul a semi) was used to pull the streetcar into the MOF. They will be performing a “dead pull” in mid-November, which involves a tow truck pulling the streetcar around the OTR loop to make sure there are no problems with the track and stations. After that, the streetcar will start traveling using its own power.

      If a streetcar needs to be towed for some reason once the system is up and running, they can either use a standard tow truck, or they can connect two streetcars together and have the live one pull the dead one.

  • Mark Christol

    per the picture looking west on Henry – this is how I remember it from the oughts. Guess those days are gone. Pretty but pretty dead, too. Hope this area picks up to, at least, what it was in the 80s.

    • Rhinegeist has done a good job at bringing the huge building their back back to life. One of the most challenging, but unique things about this area is the large size of the buildings that don’t easily lend themselves to re-purposing.

      At one point Rookwood Pottery had big plans for their space that were even more ambitious than what Rhinegeist has done with theirs. If those ever come to fruition then it should help the area immensely.

    • Losantaville is just around the block and I’ve heard rumors of a restaurant opening almost across the street from Rhinegiest on Elm. I bet the area fills up fast.

    • The building at the corner of McMicken and Race is also being rehabbed into apartments and office space. This part of town used to be “the middle of nowhere”, but once the streetcar’s running, it’s just a short ride from Downtown and the Gateway Quarter.

    • Neil Clingerman

      I’m really hoping that Sam Adams opens up a tap room to TAP (pun intended harharhar) into the development that’s happening around that area.

  • The streetcar was smaller than I expected. Man, now that it is here the anticipation is going to be even worse than it was before.