NOPSI 924 came home as NORTA 450 on the Riverfront line.
From my book, New Orleans: The Canal Streetcar Line (2004), NOPSI 924 sits at Carrollton Station. The streetcar operated on the Riverfront line until 1997. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) numbered it 450. They retired 450 when the line was expanded. A group called Bring Our Streetcars Home acquired the streetcar in 1988. They gave it to NORTA. The transit authority refurbished the car. They painted it red and yellow.
NORTA established the first new streetcar line in New Orleans in a century in 1988. The Riverfront line operated on an unused track owned by the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad. L&N offered passenger service to New Orleans for decades. It continues freight service as part of CSX Transportation. The L&N passenger terminal stood at the foot of Canal Street, near the ferry terminal. While L&N passenger service moved to Union Passenger Terminal in 1954, the tracks remained.
So, NORTA restored the track, replacing much of the rails. They built a “passing siding.” The siding allowed a streetcar going in one direction to wait so a streetcar traveling in the opposite direction could pass.
Riverfront operated five streetcars. Bring Our Streetcars Home found three 1923-vintage arch roof cars. NORTA put them into service. These streetcars didn’t have wheelchair access. They acquired two Melbourne W-2 cars with center doors. Those streetcars could accommodate wheelchairs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990. When NORTA upgraded Riverfront to two-track operation, the line lost its “grandfather” status with respect to ADA. That meant all of the streetcars on the line had to be wheelchair-accessible. Rather than cut holes in the sides of the arch roofs, the authority built new streetcars in the arch roof style. Those 400-series streetcars continue to operate on Riverfront, and occasionally on the Canal line.
NOPSI 924/NORTA 450 continues to languish at Carrollton Station, seventeen years after this photo was taken.
Thanks to Aaron for sharing the memory on Facebook!