by Sean Jacks, KGW.com on January 26 2007
Oregon Iron Works is getting into the streetcar business, after landing a contract to build a prototype for of the city Portland. Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski made the announcement Friday morning inside a manufacturing bay at Oregon Iron Works in Clackamas. Standing next to him Congressmen Peter
DeFazio and Earl Blurnenauer, Congresswoman Darlene Hooley, Portland Mayor Tom Potter and other local leaders.
The new project makes OIW the first and only manufacturer of modem streetcars in the United States. The company has created a new subsidiary, United Streetcar to produce the prototype for Portland.
“This project is a model for communities and industries across the state of Oregon,” said Governor Kulongoski. The project is expected to create at least 20 new jobs and up to 200 new jobs in the future. The governor said it’s a shining example of a partnership between public and private sectors that creates economic benefits for businesses, individual Oregonians, communities.
The streetcars will be built initially at the company’s Clackamas facility. The company plans to build a new manufacturing facility in the Portland Metro area as demand grows.
I think there’s going to be significant demand over the course of the next 50 or 100 years because so many cities are looking at ways to revitalize their infrastructure as well as provide effective transportation,” Corey Yraguen president of Oregon Iron Works. He said between 50 and 70 cities in the U.S. are currently looking at streetcars as a way to develop their areas. He added many of them have visited Portland because it has become a hub for streetcar interest.