Bids to manufacture Detroit's streetcars were due last October, but M1 Rail officials have yet to release any hints about which model may have been selected, or how the streetcar itself will look. Could this rendering from streetcar manufacturer Bombardier be a clue?
With Detroit's skyline in the background, the rendering depicts a Bombardier streetcar trundling through Hart Plaza, an area where M1 Rail definitely will not run. The streetcar is the company's Flexity Freedom model, which, at first glance appears to meet all of M1's original requirements (low floors, catenary-free operation, etc). Toronto's extensive streetcar system ordered 200 of these cars. M1 will operate just five streetcars.
Again, we don't know what streetcar M1 has settled on, what colors it might be, or if Bombardier even submitted a bid. It's just exciting to see Detroit used as a backdrop, especially after years of looking at the same few renderings. Modern streetcars don't vary too much in appearance. Whichever direction M1 goes, the cars themselves probably won't look much different than these. What colors would you like to see on M1?
· Contract will begin Dec. 1; streetcar service will begin February 2016 [Crain's]
· FLEXITY Freedom [Bombardier]