Portland: Why does the Streetcar slow down on the Broadway Bridge?

The other day my friend Colin asked:

I searched all over the Portland Streetcar site, and he was right — there’s nothing there about the slow down.

So, I kept digging.

Heck, I don’t think I’ve gone past page two of a google search in years. But here I was, looking at every single link I could find.

There was an article about why the MAX ran slow for a few weeks over the Steel Bridge, but that’s a differnet bridge and a different train.

So after page 14 or so on the search results, I gave up searching and simply emailed the kind folks at The Portland Streetcar, Inc and asked them.

They promptly replied:


The speed limit for the streetcar on the Broadway Bridge is 5 miles an hour for two reasons.

The first is the connection of the rails at the bridge lift span and the second is the overhead wire system overlaps at the three joints on the lift span.

The slow speed prevents any possible issues with bridging both of these connections.

Similar speed limits are in place whenever the streetcar is going through a switch (most of those occur at turns so it’s less noticeable again for safety reasons.

Julie Gustafson | Community Relations Program Manager

So there you have it. The answer is now on the internet for all to find.

Trying to check all the boxes, but not entirely sure what form I'm filing out. http://patcastaldo.com/

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