Car Barn Training Center

Construction on the permanent Car Barn Training Center (CBTC II) began in spring 2015 and is expected to be open in 2017. Construction on the first phase of the Car Barn Training Center (CBTC I), which comprises the yard and the temporary storage facility was completed in 2014. The temporary facility houses our six streetcar vehicles while the permanent facility is being constructed.


Progress Photo:

Taken – 10/13/16




Have a question about the CBTC not answered here? Feel free to send an email to [email protected] to ask.

A Car Barn serves as an operations and maintenance facility. Streetcars are inspected, cleaned and when needed, repaired in the Car Barn. It also provides office space, locker rooms and a break room for streetcar personnel.

The Car Barn, located at the corner of 26th Street NE and Benning Road NE, will initially serve as the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) base and a command center for the H/Benning Line. As the system extends west towards Georgetown and east towards Anacostia, it will serve the entire One City Line. The Car Barn will be the place of work for the operators, maintenance employees and management. The Car Barn will not serve as a stop, a terminus point or turnaround.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is working with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) on a training program to be housed at this facility. Although Spingarn High School was closed at the end of the 2013 school year, DCPS plans to modernize and transform the building into a Career and Technical Education (CTE) center, preparing students from across the District for careers in high-demand industries, including transportation.

The Car Barn will be well positioned for an adult education program in conjunction with the University of the District of Columbia Community College. The focus of the education programs will be on the growing field of electric vehicle technology and transit systems. As the streetcar program continues to grow, our hope is to have a “homegrown” talent pool to choose from when positions are added to the system or become open.

A 1,500 sq. ft. conference room will be part of the CBTC. Civic organizations and community members can reserve the space in advance. Details on how to reserve the space and regulations for its use will be announced soon.
The space available at the site is roughly two acres. While all of the space will be used as part of the facility, the actual CBTC building is proposed to be approximately 15,000 square feet (less than 20 percent of the overall space.)

For comparison, an average McDonald’s is about 4,000 square feet and the Lincoln Memorial is about 22,600 square feet.

Overall Site Plan - Aerial

TPSS = Traction Power Sub Station

These substations provide electrical power to the streetcar motors through the Overhead Catenary System (OCS).

Providing power to the vehicles requires three substations to be placed along the H/Benning corridor. A TPSS only runs when the streetcars are in service, so they are not operating 24/7.

Substations are completely safe and fully enclosed. They do not emit radiation or any other harmful pollutants.

Noise from a TPSS can best be described as a quiet, dull hum. You can only hear the TPSS operate if you are standing right beside it.

No. There is no toxic run-off associated with streetcars because they are clean, electric vehicles.
No. The streetcar vehicles contain electric motors and do not give off emissions.
DDOT is sensitive to concerns from the neighboring residents and businesses regarding noise. The streetcar vehicles themselves are no louder than a normal bus, as their electric motors are relatively quiet.

Noise generated in the CBTC building will be mitigated by a retaining wall on the western side of the property and the materials used for the building itself.

No. The streetcar vehicles will leave in the early morning, run their route all day and return in the evening/night when the system closes. The only exception to this will be if a vehicle has a problem or breaks down.

Operating hours:

  • Monday-Thursday: 6:00 a.m. – midnight
  • Friday: 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Holidays: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
On the rare occasion this might happen, the vehicle operator will notify the operations base via radio. A spare vehicle will be put into service and the distressed vehicle will be towed back to the CBTC.
Since Spingarn was designated as an historic site, the Car Barn Training Center (CBTC) design has been going through a review process with the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Employees of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) make up the HPRB staff. These dedicated historians provide oversight to the District’s historic and cultural resources through planning, protection, and public education. SHPO is part of the Office of Planning and also serves as the Mayor’s Agent for historic preservation. SHPO also implements federal historic preservation programs such as the State Historic Preservation Office for the District of Columbia.
DDOT is required to seek final design approval from the board. The design of the CBTC has progressed to the point that the HPRB is confident DDOT will continue to refine the design to reflect their comments and input, as DDOT has thus far. The design process moving forward will be to continue to meet with the HPRB staff until the design is fully approved.
The CBTC is being built in two phases so that passenger service will not be delayed because of the Car Barn. Phase 1 that includes the tracks, facilities necessary to support system testing and certification and a temporary facility that houses the vehicles until the CBTC is built, is complete.
Phase 2 construction includes the actual Car Barn Training Center building, which will include a conference room intended for community use.
Yes. DDOT will ensure that the building adheres to the same safety standards as its other properties.
Yes – a guard will secure the CBTC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. DDOT foresees using a variety of security mechanisms at the site, which will include fencing, cameras, lighting and alarms.
No. Nothing hazardous will be stored at the location. The site will contain space and resources for the operation and maintenance of streetcars and space for training and meetings.
From planning to construction to operations, safety encompasses all aspects of DC Streetcar. Please check out our safety page.
The contracts for the completion of needed construction along the H/Benning line, including the CBTC, and the O&M of the H/Benning line both include a First Source clause. The First Source Program, administered by the Department of Employment Services (DOES), includes provisions for hiring District residents:

  • Should a contractor need new hires for the job, 51 percent need to be District residents; and
  • Job openings will be listed with DOES.

The O&M team is complete at this time, including supervisors, maintenance staff and operators. Future employment information will always be posted in our Employment section.

  • DC Public Schools (DCPS)
  • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
  • Office of Planning (OP)
  • Department of Environment (DDOE)
  • Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA)