A new month, a new target date for the First Hill Streetcar launch. Under a revised contract between the city and Czech manufacturer Inekon, the Capitol Hill-to-Pioneer Square streetcar line is slated to finish test runs by June with service to start soon after.
The delay was expected after Inekon failed to meet an earlier October deadline to deliver six cars that will run on the 2.5 mile line, and one additional car for the South Lake Union line. In January, CHS reported that the Seattle Department of Transportation was already preparing for a late summer service start. The revised contract forgives thousands of dollars in late delivery penalties, but imposes even steeper fines if Inekon misses the revised June deadline.
Three cars are currently in Seattle undergoing final assembly, three remain in the Czech Republic, and one was delivered to the Port of Tacoma on Sunday.
The new contract comes after SDOT director Scott Kubly made a trip to the the Czech Republic to put pressure on Inkeon to finish work on the streetcars. The Seattle Times reported Sunday night on the revised contract:
Friday’s new change order would charge Inekon $500, $750 or $1,000 per day of delay per train, based on whether final testing and acceptance are done in early June, late June or in July — for a total $7,000 a day if the schedule badly blows out.
The Seattle Times also reports that SDOT has agreed to an option to buy Inekon trains for a proposed downtown link.