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Groundbreaking for two more U.S. LRTs

Construction work on two more light rail systems in US cities starts in January 2001. On 17 January work started on the 18.3-km Hiawatha line which will link central Minneapolis with the Mall of America in Bloomington. The USD 675 million scheme will receive USD 100 million in state funding and USD 334 million in federal funding. Bombardier will supply 26 LRVs and the first test runs should start in autumn 2002. 25 January sees groundbreaking in Houston for the 12-km light rail starter line designed to link the city centre with the Astrodome. The USD 300 million project had its federal funding blocked by a powerful local Republican senator, but will be built using local funds, and is expected to be completed in January 2004, when the Superbowl is due to come to Houston. A rolling stock order is pending. In addition to these systems tramways are under construction in Portland (OR) and Tacoma (WA); both will use the Skoda low-floor Astra tram from the Czech Republic.

16 January 2001

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