Update: It's here! M-1 posted some pictures of the arrival of the new streetcar Tuesday night.
This is getting real. The first QLINE streetcar has arrived in Detroit, nearly two months ahead of initial projections, according to a release by the M-1 Rail. This keeps the QLINE on schedule for passenger operations to begin in Spring 2017.
Here are a few ideas of what this could look like in action in Midtown and New Center.
The vehicle departed Monday from Brookville Equipment Corporation, the only maker of streetcars to design and manufacture exclusively in the US.
The three-piece streetcars are each 66 feet long and will carry an average of 125 passengers per car. The QLINE will share the road, traveling with traffic on Woodward Ave. at speeds up to 35 mph. The QLINE streetcars will have wi-fi access, vertical bicycle racks, and and an HVAC unit for temperature control in any season. The QLINE will have station-level access for pedestrians as well as persons who use mobility assistance devices such as wheelchairs.
M-1 Rail recently began the first of nearly 1,000 tests to be conducted before the start of passenger operations in 2017, with the small motorized inspection car called a "speeder" to ensure the track is free of obstructions in advance of the first QLINE vehicle delivery. As we reported a few weeks ago, the speeder ran into a few obstructions along the way, and we’re going to have to learn how to start sharing the road sooner than later.