The US Department of Transport will fund $75m for small parts in a $127m Portland Streetcar eastside extension project, as a part of its programme to provide rail passengers with safe, cost-effective and reliable transportation system.

The 3.3-mile-long extension project will connect the Westside Streetcar Loop across Willamette River so it reaches the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and touches 18 stations on the way.

Seven new vehicles will be purchased and the Broadway Bridge will be upgraded to accommodate streetcar operations as part of the plan, according to railway news site Progressive

The line is expected to commence operating in 2011. It will carry 8,700 passengers daily.