Streetcar Manufacturing Returns To U.S.

Oregon Iron Works creates prototype based on Portland's streetcars.

The streetcars of Portland, Ore. which began running in 2001, are manufactured in the Czech republic. But that's about to change as the Oregon Iron Works based in Clackamas will now manufacture the streetcars.

With assistance from Oregon and Washington congressional delegations, the company has been awarded a special authorization of $4 million for the production of a streetcar prototype similar to those being used in Portland.

Through Oregon Iron Works' newly formed subsidiary, United Street Car LLC, cities and municipalities such as Portland will, for the first time, be able to purchase low-rise modern streetcars from a domestically owned company. Additionally, United Streetcar meets the requirements of the "Buy American" law that requires projects and programs receiving federal funding to purchase from U.S. companies when available.

"Although Portland was an early adopter, there is now a burgeoning demand throughout the country for streetcars," said Oregon Iron Works vice president Chandra Brown.

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