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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 27, 2012 8:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Showed me round your Love Street. The next post in this blog is We don't care what Mama don't allow. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Portland streetcar manufacturer is screwing up

The local outfit that's building Portland's eastside streetcars has been darned late in getting the job done. And if the Portland cars are late, the cars the company's supposedly going to build for Tucson are even later:

The company building Tucson's streetcars has reassigned most of the workers on the Tucson project to the already-delayed Portland, Ore., system, potentially triggering a domino delay for Tucson.

The company, United Streetcar, also lost two key senior managers at the production plant, City Sun Link Co-Manager Andrew Quigley wrote in a memo to the City Council late last week, warning of "potential schedule delays."...

Portland was supposed to receive its first vehicle for testing on city tracks earlier this month, but that has been delayed to address design issues discovered in testing at the factory, resulting in United Streetcar shifting "nearly all of their manpower to the Portland vehicles," Quigley wrote....

United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works,... has struggled with numerous design and propulsion-system problems over the past few months. As a result, deadlines and delivery dates had to be shifted.

Implementation of The Blumenauer Vision is running true to form.

Comments (12)

Have no fear! I'm sure the Portland taxpayer/ratepayer is or will be providing "assistance". After all, "can't turn back now, contracts have been signed."

Let's make up a new tax or fee!

Between the Colorado Railcar fiasco (WES) and now the Oregon Iron Works project where their award was purely political in nature, rather than awarded to the most competent bidder...

And what is the politicans' response? Give OIW more money? Give them more contracts? How about yanking their contract, suing them for breach of contract, returning to the taxpayers the money already spent? And using that money to buy buses to replace the 22 year old relics that TriMet refused to replace despite federal guidelines calling for a bus to be replaced after 12 years of age?

Nobody could have anticipated that an inexperienced start-up company with political connections would have any difficulty building a Czech knockoff for the first time.

Did we mention that Timothy Geitner and Ray LaHood both toured the factory. And given their former Lobbyist and Marketing VP is now the President of the United Streetcar, we can expect a quick turnaround time for all Press Releases.

Think of it as a Great Recession delay.

"FIRE"
"AIM"
"READY"

Back in the previous century, I used the services of a travel agent that humorously referred to United Airlines as Untied Airlines.

Maybe we should take a cue from her and begin making reference to Untied Streetcar, considering how its work (or lack of such) is a classic case of project/mission creep.

It's enlightening to observe that the corporate motto of Clackamas-based Oregon Iron Works, Inc. is Where Solutions Are Built. Maybe they should add the kicker ...but not on schedule or on budget.

In hindsight, once could surmise that the SamRand Twins overlooked a prime chance to place a taxpayer-financed Streetcar Center Hotel adjacent to Untied Streetcar's facility...with spiffy bike lanes and bioswales, but limited auto access. Of course, it would be Project-Central for an annually observed Untied Streetcar Parkways celebration, topped-off with the crowning of Ms/Mrs/Mr/Compost Bin Royalty, concurrent with an intersection painting project of Placemaking!

Yikes, I think I'm channeling a future episode of Portlandia.

No one rides the east side trolley anyway, so who cares if the cars ever get built!
As a footnote. I was out in Tualatin last evening and had to wait for the WES to go by....one car and I counted maybe 6 people on it heading to Wilsonville....but the freeway was full!

Here comes that sucking sound again. That snail rail hum is kin to an out of control vacuum cleaner feeding on and sucking up any and all taxpayer dollars in its path. It is definitely not the streetcar that works.

Why not combine the best of both Portland worlds?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw8QK2w2EH0

Look at all that in-fill! Plus recycling! Such a low carbon footprints!

Seriously, aside from better hygeine facilities and more food, how is this lifestyle much different than what is being preached?

United Streetcar's Brown is probably down in Tucson enjoying the sun. The locals in Tucson are upset about their downtown-to-U of Arizona streets being totally torn up for over almost two years. 4th Ave and Broadway are disaster zones making for the rest of the central city to be totally dormant as it heads into another holiday season.

Tucson is 1/3rd the size of Portland, very vehicle dependent with a great street system. The streetcar will transport a few AofU students to a few bars downtown, the tourists won't use it because they don't go downtown, and the central bus station downtown where the streetcar will pass will become even more of a drug magnet. Just another $220 Million of taxpayer money down a rat hole. All this brought to Tucson by Charlie Hale, PBOTS former Matt Brown and Homer.

Let's all run down the trackway making humming sounds, as if we are on a nice new Streetcar. You certainly can walk faster than the average speed. And if somebody parks badly, you can just go around. Whee! Where was I going again?

I assure you that there will be no delay whatsoever in collecting your fare, rubes.

Remember how WES picked up those 50's era DMU's from Alaska on the cheap? Perhaps some old East German streetcars are available. No extra charge for any residual stifling politics that you may find wedged in the seat cushions.

So, United Streetcar gets formed to take advantage of line-item pork jammed into a omnibus spending bill by Rep. DeFazio; they then license a streetcar design from Skoda which uses a propulsion system that doesn't work, and then they subcontract that out to Rockwell Automation to fix it, delaying the whole mess.

All of that just to run more empty streetcars on a loop that nobody outside of City Hall and the developer set wanted.


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