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Portland’s new tram and LRV arrive

The first Brookville Liberty NXT arrives at the car barn on 29 March in Portland. (S. J. Morgan

The first Brookville Liberty NXT arrives at the car barn on 29 March. (S. J. Morgan

Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific North-West of the US (regional population 2.5M), is renowned for its eco-friendliness. It has separate tramway and light rail systems. Portland Streetcar is a 7.2-mile (11.2km) system serving the city centre, opened in 2001, and is served by low-floor trams. Portland’s MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) is a five-line 59.7-mile (96.1km) light rail system extending in to the suburbs on reserved tracks, though like the tramway, it runs on city streets in the centre. Its first line opened in 1986. The only track sharing is on the Tilikum Crossing bridge, though the systems have connecting curves that could permit the Streetcar stock to transfer to the MAX workshops if that were needed.

Both systems are taking delivery of new cars. Portland Streetcar is receiving three Brookville Liberty NXT to boost its fleet of 17 Skoda/Inekon/United Streetcar Trio/10T 66’ (20.1m) 70% low-floor cars. MAX is replacing its original 1983 Bombardier high-floor cars with 30 Siemens S700 96’ (29m) high-floor cars; there is an option in the contract for up to 56 more. The first was delivered in December 2022 and all should be in service by the end of 2024.

The Siemens S700 for Portland. (MAX

The Siemens S700 for Portland. (MAX)

The first new car for MAX was delivered in December 2022 and is expected that all cars should be in full service by 2024. The first of the three Brookville Liberty  NXT for Portland Streetcar was delivered in late March 2023. After some extensive testing, it is expected to enter service during the summer to allow for a more frequent service. Patronage of the system is expected to reach 20 000 riders a day by 2025.