After the Storm

Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed knocked out all public transportation in New Orleans for weeks.  The streetcar system, which consists of three lines, suffered a major hit.  The historic Perley Thomas cars, such as the one pictured here, survived intact, but the route they traveled, St. Charles, sustained major storm damage.  The entire fleet of newer red replica units that plied the other two lines, Riverfront and Canal Streetcars, sustained severe flood damage.  All of those cars were destined to be out of service for more than three years. 

By the end of 2005 rail service, utilizing the Perley Thomas vehicles, was running on the Riverfront route, and on a portion of the Canal.  Both lines were returned to their pre-storm lengths, still using the historic streetcars.  Toward the end of 2008 the first batch of red replica units, fully repaired, returned to service on both routes.

The St. Charles line was completely out for well over a year after the storm.  Buses initially ran the full route, as the city struggled to regain its core services .  A short rail segment from the downtown end opened in December, 2006.  The next year brought two further segments added back in, first to Napoleon Ave., and then out to the Riverbend.  Each extension was greeted with civic pride, and with hopes for the future.  The line was restored to its full former length in mid-2008. 

The rather classic view on this page is from along St. Charles Ave. in the Uptown neighborhood, and shows an inbound run on its "neutral ground" right of way. 
The city's streetcars, as well as its bus system, are operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, usually shortened to NORTA or RTA. 
Links to Individual Pages:
Along Canal St. Reversible Seats Riverfront Ending
Railroad Adjacent Canal St. Station Uptown
Routes Diverge Trees Along St. Charles St. Charles on Canal
Old Buildings Streetcar Approaches French Market Terminal
Temporary Terminal Out of Service First Stop Last Stop
Lee Circle Cemeteries