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Cincinnati Streetcar ("Cincinnati Bell Connector")
My husband and I are on a little Ohio mini-vacation, and part of that included an afternoon riding around and exploring the one-year-old Cincinnati Streetcar!

I had followed along online with the construction of this one pretty closely, and I was really excited to check it out.  It runs in mixed traffic for almost the entire route, and is a big shifted figure-eight loop.  The stops are all-door boarding and tickets are bought at the stations.  It's $1 for a 2-hour pass, and $2 for an all-day pass.  The trains are the same CAF Urbos3 models that Kansas City runs, and I loved them there, too!  CAF makes 5, 7, and 9 module variants of this same LRV.  I like them as a close second to the FLEXITY Freedom model we're getting for ION.  Annunciations are perfectly clear and there is a different chime for everything!

Frequencies were a bit erratic, and didn't seem to match up with the displays in the stations at all.  From the various rides we took, watching over the driver's shoulder, trains were either very early or very late (from the "Adherence" monitor).  There are a bunch of unique LED signs that illuminate for traffic before train movements begin at key intersections - I really liked this.  The tracks shift from left to right seemingly at random, making big S-curves across all the lanes of traffic.  It's very smooth and quiet, and doesn't use track lubricators, which surprised me!

My favourite thing was that the drivers were giving spiels along the way, with facts about the system.  When we went by the Maintenance Facility, he went on to talk about the OCS voltage, how many trains they have, etc. - he either did that all the time, or just for me, because he noticed my ION/LRV pictogram T-shirt. Wink

Here are some photos.


Here is the tram pictogram they use here.

One of the sections where the trains snake from one side to another.  Traffic gets a red during this.

I like how their bikeshare bikes (Trek!!) have suggestions for how to stay safe on the tracks!

Here's what the TVM's look like.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
System map.

Driver's seat!

Here's what most of the stations look like.

There are bunch of spots like this where a short stub seems to branch off, then just end.  I don't know if this is for future expansion or what.

Downside of street-running - traffic snarls mean the streetcar stops, too. In this case, an accident up ahead was blocking traffic, which blocked the tram. Eventually it cleared and police waved us through.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Expansion joint! This is on a section of the track and road that is above another (so, like a bridge).

Here's an LRV at the station we got on and off at.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain

Delicious pictogram Wink
I smiled and thought of you when I took that picture!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
It looks like they took a bus and put a pantograph on it.
Their streetcars have a one-piece windshield ...
I appreciate how their system blends in. They don't seem to have the enormous curbing and wires hanging all over like we have chosen.
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
No curbs because they run in vehicular traffic.  We chose that we do NOT want that (and I do agree).

The catenaries are still there:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=4218]
The catenary is much lower visual impact though. It seems to be using slimmer poles.
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