A horsecar, or horse-drawn tram, is an animal-powered tram or streetcar. The horse-drawn tram was an early form of public rail transport that developed out of industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, from the omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel rail or'tramway'; these were local versions of the stagecoach lines and picked up and dropped off passengers on a regular route, without the need to be pre-hired. Horsecars on tramlines were an improvement over the omnibus, as the low rolling resistance of metal wheels on iron or steel rails allowed the animals to haul a greater load for a given effort than the omnibus and gave a smoother ride; the horse-drawn streetcar combined the low cost and safety of animal power with the efficiency and all-weather capability of a rail right-of-way. The first tram services in the world were started by the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Wales, using specially designed carriages on an existing tramline built for horse-drawn freight dandies.
Fare-paying passengers were carried on a line between Oystermouth and Swansea Docks from 1807. The Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramroad carried passengers. In spite of its early start, it took many years for horse-drawn streetcars to become acceptable across Britain. An 1870 Act of Parliament overcame these legal obstacles by defining responsibilities and for the next three decades many local tramway companies were founded, using horse-drawn carriages, until replaced by cable, steam or electric traction. Many companies adopted a design of a enclosed double-decker carriage hauled by two horses; the last horse-drawn tram was retired from London in 1915. Horses continued to be used for light shunting well into the 20th century; the last horse used for shunting on British Railways was retired on 21 February 1967 in Newmarket, Suffolk. In the United States the first streetcar appeared on November 26, 1832, on the New York and Harlem Railroad in New York City; the cars were designed by John Stephenson of New Rochelle, New York, constructed at his company in New York City.
The earliest streetcars used horses and sometimes mules two as a team, to haul the cars. Other animals were tried, including humans in emergency circumstances. By the mid-1880s, there were 415 street railway companies in the USA operating over 6,000 miles of track and carrying 188 million passengers per year using horsecars. By 1890 New Yorkers took 297 horsecar rides per capita per year; the average street car horse had a life expectancy of about two years. In 1861, Toronto Street Railway horsecars replaced horse driven omnibuses as a public transit mode in Toronto. Starting in 1892, electric streetcars emerged in Toronto and by 1894 the TSR stopped operating horsecars in Toronto; the first horse-drawn rail cars on the continent of Europe were operated from 1828 by the České Budějovice - Linz railway. Europe saw a proliferation of horsecar use for new tram services from the mid-1860s, with many towns building new networks. Tropical plantations made extensive use of animal-powered trams for both passengers and freight employing the Decauville narrow-gauge portable track system.
In some cases these systems were extensive and evolved into interurban tram networks. Surviving examples may be found in both the Brazil. Problems with horsecars included the fact that any given animal could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed and cared for day in and day out, produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with storing and disposing. Since a typical horse pulled a streetcar for about a dozen miles a day and worked for four or five hours, many systems needed ten or more horses in stable for each horsecar. Horsecars were replaced by electric-powered streetcars following the invention by Frank J. Sprague of an overhead trolley system on streetcars for collecting electricity from overhead wires, his spring-loaded trolley pole used a wheel to travel along the wire. In late 1887 and early 1888, using his trolley system, Sprague installed the first successful large electric street railway system in Richmond, Virginia. Long a transportation obstacle, the hills of Richmond included grades of over 10%, were an excellent proving ground for acceptance of the new technology in other cities.
Within a year, the economy of electric power had replaced more costly horsecars in many cities. By 1889, 110 electric railways incorporating Sprague's equipment had been begun or planned on several continents. Many large metropolitan lines lasted well into the early twentieth century. New York City had a regular horsecar service on the Bleecker Street Line until its closure in 1917. Pittsburgh, had its Sarah Street line drawn by horses until 1923; the last regular mule-drawn cars in the US ran in Sulphur Rock, until 1926 and were commemorated by a U. S. postage stamp issued in 1983. Toronto's horse-drawn streetcar operations ended in 1891. In other countries animal-powered tram services continued well into the 20th century. A few original horsecar lines have survived or have been revived as tourist attractions, in recent years several repli
King County Metro
King County Metro the King County Metro Transit Department and shortened to Metro, is the public transit authority of King County, which includes the city of Seattle. It is the eighth-largest transit bus agency in the United States, carrying an average of 395,000 passengers each weekday on 215 routes. Metro operates 1,540 buses, it began operations on January 1, 1973, but can trace its roots to the Seattle Transit System, founded in 1939, Overlake Transit Service, a private operator founded in 1927 to serve the Eastside. Metro is contracted to operate and maintain Sound Transit's Central Link light rail line and eight of the agency's Sound Transit Express bus routes along with the Seattle Streetcar lines owned by the City of Seattle. Metro's services include electric trolleybuses in Seattle, RapidRide enhanced buses on six lines, commuter routes along the regional freeway system, dial-a-ride routes, paratransit services, overnight buses. A horse-drawn streetcar rail system debuted in Seattle in 1884 as the Seattle Street Railway.
In 1918, the city of Seattle bought many parts of the Seattle Street Railway, on terms which left the transit operation in financial trouble. In 1939, a new transportation agency, the Seattle Transit System, was formed, which refinanced the remaining debt and began replacing equipment with "trackless trolleys" and motor buses; the final streetcar ran on April 13, 1941. The Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle was created by a local referendum on September 9, 1958, as a regional authority tasked with management of wastewater and water quality issues in King County; the authority was formed after civic leaders, including those in the Municipal League, noted that solutions to regional issues were complicated by local boundaries and a plethora of existing special districts. The state legislature approved the formation of a combined transportation and planning authority in 1957, but the countywide referendum was rejected by a majority outside of Seattle. Metro, as the authority came to be called, was restricted to sewage management and given a smaller suburban jurisdiction ahead of the successful September referendum.
By 1967, the agency had completed its $125 million sewage treatment system, which diverted 20 million gallons that had contaminated Lake Washington. After two failed attempts to enable it to build a regional rapid transit system, it was authorized to operate a regional bus system in 1972; the bus system was known as Metro Transit and began operations in 1973. Its operations subsumed the Seattle Transit System under the purview of the City of Seattle and the Metropolitan Transit Corporation, a private company serving suburban cities in King County. In the early 1970s, the private Metropolitan faced bankruptcy because of low ridership. King County voters authorized Metro to buy Metropolitan and operate the county's mass transit bus system; the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle was overseen by a federated board of elected officials, composed of elected officials from cities throughout the region. Its representation structure was ruled unconstitutional in 1990. In 1992, after gaining approval by popular vote, the municipality's roles and authorities were assumed by the government of King County.
The municipality's transit operations was a stand-alone department within the county until 1996, when it became a division of the newly created King County Department of Transportation. In August 2018, the county council approved legislation to separate Metro from the Department of Transportation, creating the King County Metro Transit Department effective January 1, 2019. After completion of the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel project, attention was drawn again to developing a regional rail system; this interest led to the formation of the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority which holds primary responsibility for planning and building high capacity transit in the counties of King and Snohomish, in western Washington state. Today, King County Metro operates more than 200 routes, providing local and regional transit service within its jurisdictional boundaries. Besides its own transit operations, Metro operates several ST Express bus routes and the Central Link light rail line under a contract with Sound Transit and two streetcar routes under contract with Seattle Streetcar.
For 40 years, until 2012, most of downtown Seattle was designated as a zero-fare zone, an area in which all rides on Metro vehicles were free, known as the "Ride Free" Area. Intended to encourage transit usage, improve accessibility and encourage downtown shopping, the zone was created in September 1973 and was called the "Magic Carpet" zone, it was renamed the Ride Free Area. The RFA extended from the north at Battery St. to S. Jackson St. on the south and east at 6th Avenue to the waterfront on the west. Until 1987, the zone was in effect 24 hours a day, but in October of that year Metro began requiring fare payment within the zone during night-time hours, between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. to reduce fare-related conflicts that sometimes led to assaults on drivers. A King County Auditor’s Office report released in September 2009 found that Metro "can neither explain nor provide backup documentation for the operating cost savings that offset the fare revenues in the calculation of the annual charges to the City of Seattle for the city’s Ride Free Area" and that some assumptions in the methodology Metro used to calculate the amount of lost fares were "questionable" and have not been updated to reflect changes to the fare structure a
Yesler Way is an east–west street in Seattle named for Henry Yesler. East–west streets in Seattle south of Yesler Way are prefixed "South"; the street originates at Alaskan Way on the downtown Seattle waterfront and runs east through Yesler Terrace, the Central District, Leschi to just east of 32nd Avenue, where the arterial route switches to Lake Dell Avenue. A short residential segment of East Yesler Way, which it turns into east of Broadway, exists to the west of Lake Washington Boulevard. In the 1850s, when freshly cut logs were sent down the steep street, the street was referred to as Skid Road, which became genericized as Skid Row in other cities; the street was renamed to Yesler Way and paved by Patrick J. McHugh in 1903. Media related to Yesler Way, Seattle at Wikimedia Commons
Stone & Webster
Stone & Webster was an American engineering services company based in Stoughton, Massachusetts. It was founded as an electrical testing lab and consulting firm by electrical engineers Charles Stone and Edwin S. Webster in 1889. In the early 20th century, Stone & Webster was known for operating streetcar systems in many cities across the United States; the company grew to provide engineering, construction and plant operation and maintenance services, it has long been involved in power generation projects, starting with hydroelectric plants of the late 19th-century. Stone & Webster was acquired and integrated as a division of The Shaw Group in 2000, in 2012, the French engineering conglomerate Technip acquired Stone & Webster's energy and chemical business, process technologies and associated oil and gas engineering capabilities from The Shaw Group; the CB&I acquisition of other assets of The Shaw Group in 2012, resulted in the formation of a nuclear power subsidiary, CB&I Stone Webster, which operated for about 4 years, being sold in January 2016 to Westinghouse Electric Company.
Charles A. Stone and Edwin S. Webster first met in 1884 and became close friends while studying electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1890, only two years after graduating, they formed the Massachusetts Electrical Engineering Company; the name was changed to Stone & Webster in 1893. Their company was one of the earliest electrical engineering consulting firms in the United States. Stone & Webster's first major project was the construction of a hydroelectric plant for the New England paper company in 1890. Stone & Webster not only had valuable insight into developing and managing utilities but they had keen intuition for businesses to invest in. Through the panic of 1893, Stone & Webster were able to acquire the Nashville Electric Light and Power Co. for a few thousand dollars and sold it for $500,000. Throughout the next ten years, Stone & Webster acquired interest in large number of utilities while offering managerial and financial consulting to a number of independent utility firms.
Though Stone & Webster were not a holding company, their financial and managerial presence meant that they had considerable influence in policy decisions. They would be paid in utility stock. Stone & Webster became involved in Washington State engineering projects—Washington's natural resources, hydroelectric power, resulting development opportunities brought companies like Stone & Webster to the state—beginning with Puget Sound area street railways. By 1900, they merged eight small rail lines in Seattle. By 1908, Stone & Webster listed thirty-one railway and lighting companies under its management including five located in Washington State: the Puget Sound Electric Railway, Puget Sound International Railway and Power Co. Puget Sound Power Co; the Seattle Electric Co. and Whatcom County Railway and Light Co. Stone & Webster leadership was sensitive to the concerns of large utility holding companies and were careful to emphasize the complete independence of these utilities, but Edwin Webster believed that outside capital was crucial to develop the resources of Washington, chided those who thought otherwise.
In 1905, Stone & Webster bought out the power and lighting properties that were once owned by the Bellingham Bay Improvement Co. including the York Street Steam plant and the built Nooksack Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant. Stone & Webster took over construction operations and on September 21, 1906, Bellingham received power from the plant via a 47-mile-long transmission line. Despite the independence allowed its subsidiaries, J. D. Ross, superintendent of Seattle City Light issued a report critical of Stone & Webster's presence in Seattle. Listing 49 companies under Stone & Webster's management at the time. By 1912, the company, had divided itself into three specialized subsidiaries: Stone & Webster Engineering Stone & Webster Management Association Stone & Webster Investments In 1927, Stone & Webster expanded the investments business, merging its securities subsidiaries with the investment banking firm of Blodgett & Co. founded in 1886, to form Stone & Webster and Blodgett Inc. In January, 1946, the name of the business, was changed to Webster Securities Corporation.
Stone and Webster Securities was one of the 17 U. S. investment banking and securities firms named in the United States Department of Justice's antitrust investigation of Wall Street known as the Investment Bankers Case. The Stone & Webster investment banking operations were acquired by Kidder Peabody which had overlapping ownership. Stone & Webster, Inc. has since offered its customers in the United States and the world engineering, construction and environmental services to build electric power plants, petrochemical plants and refineries, factories and civil works projects. Stone & Webster helped build substantial portions of the nation's power production infrastructure, including coal, natural gas and hydroelectric plants constituting around 20 percent of U. S. generating capacity. The company played a significant role in the nation's defense efforts during World War I and II and afterwards, helping develop the A-Bomb, constructing large shipyards, creating alternate means of production of strategic materials such as synthetic rubber.
Much of the world's capacity in petrochemical and plastics development was developed as a result of Stone & Webster efforts. America's entry into World War II brought a dramatic increase in demand for all
First Hill Streetcar
The First Hill Line is a streetcar route in Seattle, United States, forming part of the modern Seattle Streetcar system. It travels 2.5 miles between several neighborhoods in central Seattle, including the International District, First Hill, Capitol Hill. The line has ten stops and runs in mixed traffic on South Jackson Street and Broadway; the streetcar line was proposed in 2005 as an alternative to a cancelled Link light rail station on First Hill, with the goal of connecting the neighborhood to other light rail stations. The $135 million project, funded by Sound Transit, was approved by voters and the city council in 2008; the city government selected the Broadway corridor and began construction on the line in April 2012 working on a parallel protected bicycle lane. Construction was completed in late 2014, but delays in the delivery and testing of the streetcar vehicles pushed the opening of the line to January 23, 2016. A proposed connection to the South Lake Union Streetcar line was planned to be constructed in the late 2010s, but was suspended by the city government in 2018.
First Hill and the Broadway corridor were served by several lines under the private and municipal streetcar system, beginning with the first line constructed in 1891 and ending in 1941 with the introduction of city trolleybuses. First Hill, a major regional destination due to its concentration of medical facilities and Seattle University, was slated to receive an underground Link light rail station under the system's first planned expansion from Downtown Seattle to the University District, passed by voters in 1996. A technical study revealed tunneling through the weak soil under First Hill involved high risks and would cost $350 million beyond the project's proposed budget, so the Sound Transit board voted in July 2005 to remove the First Hill station from their preferred light rail route. In lieu of light rail service, Sound Transit commissioned studies on alternative means of improving transit service to the neighborhood, leading King County Executive Ron Sims to suggest a streetcar connecting with the Capitol Hill light rail station.
Sound Transit, the city government, neighborhood stakeholders convened The First Hill Work Program to investigate alternative modes and projects, among them bus improvements to the Broadway and Madison Street corridors and a streetcar from International District/Chinatown station to Capitol Hill. The Work Program was completed in April 2007 and concluded a two-mile streetcar on Broadway and South Jackson Street would be a feasible way to connect First Hill with the light rail system while acting as a potential catalyst for new transit-oriented development. A preliminary analysis in 2005 found the streetcar would cost up to $122 million to construct and attract 3,000 weekday riders if built; the First Hill Streetcar project was included in the Sound Transit 2 plan, approved by the Sound Transit board and placed on the Roads and Transit ballot measure for the November 2007 election. The ballot measure was rejected by voters, but Sound Transit 2 was passed by voters as a standalone ballot measure in November 2008 and included $120 million in funding for the streetcar.
The Seattle City Council approved the First Hill line in December as part of a citywide streetcar network that would expand on the existing South Lake Union Streetcar. An interlocal agreement between the city and Sound Transit was signed in October 2009 to allow the city to design and construct the streetcar while using funds from the transit expansion plan, which would cover the $5.2 million annual operating budget. While projected to open in 2016, the project timeline was accelerated by three years under the agreement; the Seattle Department of Transportation presented three basic route alignments for public consideration in December 2009: beginning with a common corridor on Jackson Street with a one-way loop between Pioneer Square and International District/Chinatown station, the streetcar would use either 12th or 14th avenues to reach Yesler Terrace continue north on Broadway, Boren Avenue, or 12th Avenue. Near Capitol Hill station, the streetcar would split into a one-way couplet between Broadway and 11th Avenue with a terminal at Denny Way.
Despite community support for the 12th Avenue option and First Hill organizations backing the Boren option, SDOT recommended the Broadway route with no couplet or one-way loop. Other activists petitioned the city for an extension to the business district on North Broadway, terminating near Aloha Street, which would require a separate funding source. Mayor Mike McGinn endorsed the Broadway route and the city council unanimously approved the alignment in May 2010, with 10 stops and 10-minute weekday headways. Pre-construction activities for the project began in January 2011 and a formal groundbreaking was held on April 23, 2012; the project included the construction of a two-way protected bicycle lane on the east side of Broadway, added as a result of cycling accidents on the South Lake Union line. Track-laying began over the summer on Yesler Way and on Broadway between Pine and Howell streets, causing street closures and other traffic disruptions. During work on the Broadway section and Witbeck contractors excavated railroad ties used by the original streetcar system until the 1940s.
Trackwork on South Jackson Street began in early 2013 after completion of sewer and utility work in the International District. Due to the existing trolleybus and electrical wires above Broadway and South Jackson Street, SDOT elected to forgo wiring for its downhill, inbound track and instead rely on an onboard battery. Street construction and electrical installation were completed in late 2014, but the commencement of service was delayed to the following year due
A tram is a rail vehicle which runs on tramway tracks along public urban streets. The lines or networks operated by tramcars are called tramways; the term electric street railways was used in the United States. In the United States, the term tram has sometimes been used for rubber-tyred trackless trains, which are unrelated to other kinds of trams. Tram vehicles are lighter and shorter than main line and rapid transit trains. Today, most trams use electrical power fed by a pantograph sliding on an overhead line. In some cases by a contact shoe on a third rail is used. If necessary, they may have dual power systems—electricity in city streets, diesel in more rural environments. Trams carry freight. Trams are now included in the wider term "light rail", which includes grade-separated systems; some trams, known as tram-trains, may have segments that run on mainline railway tracks, similar to interurban systems. The differences between these modes of rail transport are indistinct, a given system may combine multiple features.
One of the advantages over earlier forms of transit was the low rolling resistance of metal wheels on steel rails, allowing the trams to haul a greater load for a given effort. Problems included the fact that any given animal could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed and cared for day in and day out, produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with disposing of. Electric trams replaced animal power in the late 19th and early 20th century. Improvements in other forms of road transport such as buses led to decline of trams in mid 20th century. Trams have seen resurgence in recent years; the English terms tram and tramway are derived from the Scots word tram, referring to a type of truck used in coal mines and the tracks on which they ran. The word tram derived from Middle Flemish trame; the identical word la trame with the meaning "crossbeam" is used in the French language. Etymologists believe that the word tram refers to the wooden beams the railway tracks were made of before the railroad pioneers switched to the much more wear-resistant tracks made of iron and steel.
The word Tram-car is attested from 1873. Although the terms tram and tramway have been adopted by many languages, they are not used universally in English; the term streetcar is first recorded in 1840, referred to horsecars. When electrification came, Americans began to speak of trolleycars or trolleys. A held belief holds the word to derive from the troller, a four-wheeled device, dragged along dual overhead wires by a cable that connected the troller to the top of the car and collected electrical power from the overhead wires. "Trolley" and variants refer to the verb troll, meaning "roll" and derived from Old French, cognate uses of the word were well established for handcarts and horse drayage, as well as for nautical uses. The alternative North American term'trolley' may speaking be considered incorrect, as the term can be applied to cable cars, or conduit cars that instead draw power from an underground supply. Conventional diesel tourist buses decorated to look like streetcars are sometimes called trolleys in the US.
Furthering confusion, the term tram has instead been applied to open-sided, low-speed segmented vehicles on rubber tires used to ferry tourists short distances, for example on the Universal Studios backlot tour and, in many countries, as tourist transport to major destinations. The term may apply to an aerial ropeway, e.g. the Roosevelt Island Tramway. Although the use of the term trolley for tram was not adopted in Europe, the term was associated with the trolleybus, a rubber-tyred vehicle running on hard pavement, which draws its power from pairs of overhead wires; these electric buses, which use twin trolley poles, are called trackless trolleys, or sometimes trolleys. The New South Wales, government has decided to use the term "light rail" for their trams; the history of trams, streetcars or trolley systems, began in early nineteenth century. It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of motive power used; the world's first passenger train or tram was the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, in Wales, UK.
The Mumbles Railway Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1804, horse-drawn service started in 1807. The service was restarted in 1860, again using horses, it was worked by steam from 1877, from 1929, by large electric tramcars, until closure in 1961. The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was something of a one-off however, no street tramway would appear in Britain until 1860 when one was built in Birkenhead by the American George Francis Train. Street railways developed in America before Europe due to the poor paving of the streets in American cities which made them unsuitable for horsebuses, which were common on the well-paved streets of European cities. Running the horsecars on rails allowed for a much smoother ride. There are records of a street railway running in Baltimore as early as 1828, however the first authenticated streetcar in America, was the New York and Harle
The Seattle Streetcar is a system of two modern streetcar lines operating in the city of Seattle, Washington. The South Lake Union line opened first in 2007 and was followed by the First Hill line in 2016; the two lines are disconnected, but share similar characteristics: frequent service, station amenities, vehicles. Streetcars arrive every 10–15 minutes most of the day, except late at night; the streetcar lines are owned by the Seattle Department of Transportation and operated by King County Metro. The South Lake Union Streetcar is a 1.3-mile-long, seven-stop line serving the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Its route goes from the Westlake transit hub to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in South Lake Union; the South Lake Union Streetcar connects with Link Light Rail, the Seattle Center Monorail and the RapidRide C Line. The line opened to the public in 2007; the First Hill Streetcar is a 2.5-mile-long, 10-stop line that connects Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill via Chinatown, Little Saigon, Yesler Terrace, First Hill.
The First Hill Streetcar connects with Link Light Rail. The line opened to the public in January 2016; the Center City Connector project would connect the existing South Lake Union Streetcar at Westlake to the First Hill Streetcar with new tracks along 1st Avenue and Stewart Street in Downtown Seattle. It will serve popular downtown destinations like Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, Colman Dock and Pioneer Square; the two existing lines would overlap within downtown, increasing frequencies, the streetcars would operate in an exclusive transit lane. The project is expected to increase ridership on the Seattle Streetcar Network to 20,000–24,000 riders per day; the project is scheduled to begin construction at the beginning 2018 and be completed in 2020. In June 2017, the city accepted a $50 million federal grant for the project. In October 2017, members of the Seattle City Council debated cancelling the project and re-appropriating the funds for bus service, but no budget amendments were made.
In March 2018, Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered an investigation of the project and a construction halt for the duration of the review—estimated to take up to three months—in the wake of rising capital costs that were estimated to leave a $23 million shortfall in an overall $200 million budget for building the line. Mayor Durkan announced in January 2019 that the project would be revived if funding is found to cover the entire $286 million cost; the halted Broadway Streetcar project would have extended the First Hill Streetcar a half-mile farther north on Capitol Hill into the commercial core of Broadway with two stops near Harrison Street and Roy Street at a cost of $28 million. The project would have included an extension of the protected bike lanes to Roy Street and improvements to the surrounding streetscape. In December 2016, the project was placed on an indefinite hold after the city had completed design work to the 90% stage at a cost of $3 million; the planned extension was halted due to a lack of support from businesses for the design and the financial plan, which would involve taxing properties located along the alignment.
The city government approved the study of a larger, citywide streetcar network in December 2008, estimated to cost up to $600 million. Among the lines studied were a central connector between Seattle Center and the Central District; the Seattle Streetcar system uses a fleet of streetcars manufactured by Inekon Trams in the Czech Republic. The original South Lake Union fleet, consisting of three double-ended low-floor Inekon Trio-12 streetcars measuring 66 feet in length were delivered in 2007 and are numbered 301–303. A decade six Trio Model 121 streetcars were manufactured for the First Hill line, along with an additional streetcar for additional service in South Lake Union. Three of the model-121 streetcars were assembled in the Czech Republic and four were assembled, under contract, by Pacifica Marine in Seattle; the Trio Model 121 streetcars are equipped with electric batteries, which are used for a portion of the First Hill route. The delivery of the cars fell behind schedule, leading to delays in opening the First Hill Streetcar.
The original South Lake Union fleet is planned to be replaced with battery-equipped streetcars when the Center City Connector opens. The Portland Streetcar system has expressed interest in acquiring the older vehicles for use on their system. In October 2017, the Seattle Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles to supply 10 100-percent-low-floor streetcars of CAF's Urbos series for the Seattle Streetcar system. All will be equipped with an on-board energy storage system enabling them to operate away from the overhead wires. Seven of the 10 are for the fleet expansion needed for the opening of the Center City Connector, projected for 2020, three are being purchased to replace the oldest South Lake Union cars, which will be sold after their replacements enter service. Cars 301–303 lack the capability of "off-wire" operation, which means they can only be oper