Other Streetcars

There are many modern streetcar systems in the United States, and there are even more systems that are being studied and planned for future development. We've put together a sampling of the diverse systems that criss-cross this country; this article, Streetcar Projects Advance Nationwide Thanks to Local Initiative, illustrates just how widely-spread streetcar programs can be found!

Kenosha, WI

Turf-track Streetcar

Line dedication: June 17, 2000

Route: 2-mile circulator

Economic development: part of the HarborPark development on the shores of Lake Michigan; played a major role in the downtown’s transit-oriented development; a top tourist attraction for the city

Notable features: Turf tracks; winter plowing; transit-oriented development

Image by contemplative imaging, 2008.

The Kenosha streetcar is a grass-embedded, or “turf track” streetcar line that circles through the city's downtown. It operates on a reduced schedule during the winter months, but is used year-round. To plow snow in the winter, Kenosha Area Transit uses Hy-Rail vehicles, which are pickup trucks equipped with extra rail wheels that drop down to plow snow from rail tracks. This truck is multi-purpose and can be used on roads as well, as the rail wheels pull up when not in use. Kenosha Area Transit also uses a Bobcat snowblower to help with heavy drifts or accumulations. Despite this plowing, the frozen ground helps preserve the turf from getting too torn up.

The streetcar line in Kenosha serves utilitarian, economic development, and tourist needs in the city and sees approximately 63,000 riders per year. The city is currently looking into expansion options. 

For more information about the construction of Kenosha's turf-track streetcar line, see Stone Consulting's brochure here.

For a map of the route, from the Kenosha Streetcar Society's webpage, click here

For more information, visit the City of Kenosha's Transportation department website

Snow being plowed from the Kenosha, WI streetcar tracks. Image courtesy of Brad Preston. 

 
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