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Economy | Business

Tucson Orders Seven Streetcars From Oregon Company

An Oregon company marked a major milestone Wednesday, with a $23 million order from the City of Tucson for seven streetcars. Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

Oregon Iron Works took a gamble that it could be the first U.S. company in 60 years to build a streetcar. That gamble now seems to be paying off.

The City of Portland recently bought six cars and now Tucson wants seven cars.

Company spokeswoman, Chandra Brown, says 60 cities are looking at building streetcars in the future and they might need to expand.

Chandra Brown: "We are on almost 20 acres here on our Clackamas site, so we have the potential to build another bay and do some existing work on our headquarter property. And then who know if we're lucky enough to have hundreds of streetcars in the future, we would be continuing to look and see if we need another type of facility to expand and grow."

Oregon Iron Works is well placed to win orders because when cities use federal money, they're obliged to give U.S. manufacturers first consideration.