BK-Queens streetcar may need block-long train yard

Nonprofit estimates cost of multi-acre storage zone to be $100M

Rendering of the streetcar and the streetcar map
Rendering of the streetcar and the streetcar map

This streetcar is named Desire — desire for a train yard, that is.

The proposed 16-mile Brooklyn-Queens streetcar will need a maintenance yard or yards to store and service the 47-car fleet over several acres, Crain’s reported. The yard’s location and size hasn’t been included on maps of the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector, but experts estimate that the yard will need to be roughly the size of a block in Midtown Manhattan. A significantly smaller streetcar fleet in Portland, Ore., for example, has a three-acre maintenance yard. Rick Gustafson, a consultant with project management advisory firm Shiels Obletz Johnsen, told Crain’s that New York’s maintenance yard could likely be a similar size to the one in Portland but might need two additional acres to store all the vehicles.

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Friends of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, a nonprofit that supports the streetcar, estimates that building two maintenance facilities would cost $100 million and require less than five acres.

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled plans for the streetcar in February. The project is expected to cost $2.5 billion and run from Astoria, Queens, to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The line will be similar to the light rail system in New Jersey or, in case you struggle with admitting that New Jersey did something first, like the Muni in San Francisco. [Crain’s]Kathryn Brenzel

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