DETROIT (WWJ) — Another step forward comes this week in the M-1 QLINE rail system. The first streetcar is to be delivered to Detroit on Wednesday, nearly two months ahead of projections.
“Delivery of the first QLNE streetcar is an important milestone for this project,” M-1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen said. “We’re bringing a sleek, modern vehicle of exceptional quality to Detroit. This project is one of the most innovative public transportation projects in the world today, from our landmark private-public partnership to the innovative off-wire battery technology that will power the QLINE, we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the first QLINE vehicle.”
The three-piece streetcars are each 66 feet long and will carry an average of 125 passengers per car. The QLINE will share the road, traveling with traffic on Woodward at speeds up to 35 mph.
The streetcars will feature Wi-Fi access for passengers, vertical bicycle racks and HVAC unit to keep passengers comfortable during all-weather seasons.
Developers say the orange barrels lining Woodward Avenue should be gone by Thanksgiving. M-1 Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs told WWJ Newsradio 950 that a public information period will have to happen before the rail system becomes operational.
“[It will be] to educate the drivers, the delivery people, the post office, FedEx, the beer truck delivery,” Childs said. “All of those people dropping people off in front of buildings — valets — all of those things have to be educated and worked through. They’re related to starting the system up and assuring a safe and reliable ride for our customers.”
The QLINE rail system — priced at $142 million — will include six custom-made rail cars and is expected to be rolling by Spring 2017.
The cost of a walk up ticket to ride the 3.3-mile rail system — going from W. Grand Boulevard in the New Center area to Grand Circus Park — will be $1.50.