The long process of building light rail in Detroit has moved into the final stretches, which can't come too soon for many city residents inconvenienced by exit ramp closings downtown and the seemingly endless parade of orange road cones and closed lanes on Woodward. Soon, the city will have cars to ride those rails after awarding Pennsylvania's Brookville Equipment a $32 million contract to design and manufacture Detroit's new streetcars. Six of the nearly hundred-year-old firm's Liberty Modern street cars will carry Detroit riders in a nearly seven-mile loop downtown. Brookville enters the project with a unique tie to Detroit—the company's founder, L.A. Leathers, began his career as one of Ford's first auto dealers.
Since incorporating in 1918 as Brookville Locomotive Works, the firm has built everything from school buses to refrigerated cargo haulers, to bulletproof taxis. Brookville will build six 66-foot long train cars for Detroit's light rail, and each car will hold up to 150 riders. Brookville Liberty Modern streetcars already serve public transit patrons in Dallas and New Orleans. Brookville also does custom restorations on old streetcars, including a 1912 trolley currently operating in San Francisco. Detroit's light rail loop is expected to open in 2016 with a base fare of $1.50 a ride. - Rebecca Golden
· Detroit orders new streetcars from Brookville [Railway Age]