The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been under construction for a while including the restoration of the B-52G, Midnight Express that spent many years outside at Paine Field. The opening ceremony took place over the Memorial Day weekend and I went along to check it out. I wrote an article for GAR about the ceremony and, if you want to read that, you can see it here.
The article includes most of the good images from the event so I won’t duplicate it all here but instead I shall just post a couple of shots that summarize what happened.
I picked up the Oklahoma City
streetcar from the stop across from my hotel.
There are two routes in the city – one that runs around the downtown
area and another shorter loop that goes from the convention center development
area back to Bricktown. The car I got
was on the Bricktown Loop and, since I wanted to do the full run, I hopped off
at the next stop and waited for the next car.
I got on board along with a guy that
had come to check it out despite his skepticism. He ended up meeting a few people he knew and
seemed pretty impressed by the whole thing.
The vehicles have a battery system on board which allows them to run for
periods without overhead wires. This is
particularly helpful where the line runs under the main railroad. The bridges there are too low to allow for
overhead wires so the system involves periods on battery and periods on wire
when the batteries can be recharged,
Lots of people were out making use of the
free introductory period. Given that it
was a Friday, this was a good indication.
Hopefully the system will prove to be a success. It is part of a number of measures that the
city is implementing to improve the live ability of the area. I wish them well.
I used to make regular trips to
Oklahoma City for a streetcar project I was working on. I ended up having to pick up another project
which meant I dropped the streetcar project when the vehicle contract had been
approved and signed and my colleague took on the delivery phase. However, I promised I would be back for the
grand opening. Mid December was the time
when the system was opened up.
Fortunately, I was already within
three hours of OKC for another project so I drove up for the celebrations. The project team had a dinner the night
before which was a great chance to get back together with some old faces. The opening was on the following
morning. We had an early photo session
with project team members at 7:30 on a chilly Friday. The main opening ceremony started at
10:00. It was still pretty cold but
plenty of people had shown up for the evening.
Speeches from those involved and then it was time for the first rides.
I skipped the initial runs and instead
went to have a look at the maintenance facility that had been constructed as
part of the project. It was a nice job
that had been put together by all involved.
After checking it all out, I parted ways with my old colleagues. Before heading home, it was time to ride the
full route. That will be another post.