After an environmental assessment wrapped up in April of 2004, the city ordered three streetcars from Inekon DPO. There was a groundbreaking ceremony that November, in anticipation of a fall 2006 opening.
But two days after the ceremony, CSX announced that it wouldn't allow the District to use Shepherd Branch. The change of plans stalled the project. Negotiations carried on for months until DDOT relented in 2005, shifting the route from the railroad tracks and onto the streets. In doing so, the city scaled the streetcar's northern terminus back to Good Hope Road SE, just short of the 11th Street Bridge.