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Repairing New Orleans' Streetcars

Brookville Equipment Corp. (BEC) completed the 2-year repair of 31 New Orleans streetcars, the greatest number of which had been severely damaged by flooding from Katrina. Todd Schultz is an engineer with BEC and was the onsite manager in New Orleans. He explained BEC completed work on 24 Canal Street cars and seven Riverfront cars.

Schultz said, "These 31 cars were flooded during Katrina, basically all the electrical controls and everything was flooded.

"We were contracted to do the electrical work, which involves running the cables, the wires, conduit, connecting and supplying the propulsion equipment, all the electrical control systems, the voltage converters.

"We were also contracted to supply the trucks, the truck assemblies, which have the motors, track brakes, the park brakes — all the mechanical controls of the trucks," he said.

Michael White, sales/marketing specialist with BEC added, "The work for this NORTA repair contract included the rewire of the streetcar, outfitting the cars with new electrical drives, electric panels, converters and remanufacturing the trucks."

This was BEC's second project with NORTA. Prior to the 2008-09 contract to repair the damage from the Katrina flooding, Brookville installed new trucks, new propulsion systems and electrical cabinets in 24 Canal Street cars that were built by the RTA. White said, "When Katrina came in 2005, its wrath ruined the work that had just been completed on the cars.

"To say we had intimate knowledge of the cars is kind of an understatement." The contract began July of 2007 and was completed in January 2010.

"The truck assemblies were sent back to Brookville from New Orleans," Schultz explained. "This is where we pared them down and rebuilt them." The wiring and cabling was all done onsite, along with the installation of the electric panels and boxes.

The project came to a conclusion on-schedule at the end of 2009. The timing was coincidental, but it allowed New Orleans to celebrate the unveiling of the restored fleet along with the anticipated increase of holiday travel during the Christmas Season.

To learn more, visit Brookville at Booth 5532.

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