Memphis Testing Vintage Siemens U2 Trolley Cars—With Service Expected to Open Later This Year

Originally designed for use in Frankfurt, Germany, the Siemens–Duewag U2 was used in Canada and San Diego before now coming to Memphis.

1 minute read

March 29, 2022, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

"The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) gave the city a preview Sunday of what their upgraded high-frequency light rail service will look like once they re-open the Madison Avenue rail line," reports Jackson Browne for ABC24.

The new transit service in Memphis will have one calling card in particular that has already been attracting a lot of attention from rolling stock aficionados on social media: the use of the Siemens–Duewag U2 "vintage" streetcars.

MATA was testing the U2 cars on the Madison Avenue line over the past weekend, as evidenced by photos shared on the transit agency's Twitter feed.

The U2 tests are the latest step in a dramatic turnaround for transit in Memphis. As noted by Browne, "MATA shut down all light rail lines in Memphis after two trolleys caught fire in a six-month span," during 2014. "They initiated what they called a 'total system renewal,' aiming to set a national standard for vintage trolley operations around the country. MATA re-opened the Main Street trolley line in 2018."

In 2017, Planetizen checked in with MATA's ambitious plans to add transit service hours, which at the time intended to add 200,000 service hours by 2019. Fast forward to 2022, and MATA is expecting to open the new vintage trolley lines by the end of the year.

Sunday, March 27, 2022 in ABC24

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