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Detroit's M-1 Rail late last week awarded Brookville Equipment Corp. a $32 million contract to supply six Liberty Modern Streetcars for the Woodward Avenue line. Slated for delivery in fourth-quarter 2016, the new cars are capable of operating off-wire, which they'll need to do for 60 percent of their journey along the 3.3-mile corridor. Onboard energy storage systems, or OESS, will provide the power necessary for the vehicles to operate without overhead catenary wire, Brookville officials said in a press release.The onboard energy systems draw their own power from 750-volt rechargeable lithium-ion batteries."Brookville has had success building streetcars with similar operating systems and specifications to what we have planned for M-1 Rail, so we know exactly what we’re getting," said M-1 Rail Chief Operating Officer Paul Childs in a statement. "M-1 Rail will minimize its impact on the aesthetics of Detroit’s iconic Woodward Avenue, and the Penske Technical Center will not have the labyrinth of wires overhead that typify the maintenance and repair sites of other systems."The new vehicles will make a total of 12 stops in each direction along their loop on Woodward Avenue.Earlier this year, Brookville supplied two similar streetcar vehicles to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). While those units are also capable of traveling off-wire, they had a slightly narrower car-body, Brookville officials said. DART's vehicles measured 8 feet across, versus M-1 Rail's cars, which will span 8 feet, 8 inches.
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