Solingen [DE] - The next significant anniversary is approaching
J. Lehmann - 21.11.11
June 2012 sees the 60th anniversary of the trolleybus system. 50 low floor trolleybuses provide service on the system, which consists of six routes. The current fleet, which has been acquired in the last decade, represents the fourth generation of trolleybuses. The intention is to have representatives of all four generations present at the celebrations. The jubilee will take place on Saturday 30th June and will be marked by an open day and special rides on historic vehicles. The celebrations have been postponed by a week from the originally intended weekend after the actual anniversary (19th June) because of a celebration in Esslingen of 100 years of electric public transport.
The substation at Vockert on route 684 to Widdert was upgraded during the autumn school holidays. Up till now this had a capacity of 500 kVA, but a further 500kVA transformer has been added in order to stabilise the line voltage at 660V. The work was carried out during the school holidays (24th October to 4th November) and has been completed except for the installation of the motor-driven 10 kV circuit breaker. This switch will probably be delivered, installed, tested and integrated in the next few days, so that the additional transformer can be linked to the network. During the works the substation was de-energised, meaning that replacement buses operated on route 684. Trolleybuses resumed service on 5th November.
After trials lasting several months SWS has begun installing electronic ticket control (EKS) in all buses. A yellow control box has been installed next to the driver. Passengers must place their monthly season tickets (Ticket 1000/2000) against the box, which checks the validity of the tickets. If a ticket is approved, the unit emits a short beep. Introduction of the system began this week on trolleybuses on routes 681 and 682, this week on route 683 and then on motor bus routes.
Installation of a passenger information system is planned for route 683, which will show real time arrival information at the most important bus stops in Solingen itself. The necessary funds have been released for 2012 and a call for tenders is in preparation. New suppliers would be welcome, as the existing display units supplied by Eprovi at Graf Wilhelm Platz and at the central station have been very unreliable.
Photos (by Jürgen Lehmann):
Top: Trolleybuses can now draw on a much more consistent power supply when climbing Brühlerstrasse in the direction of Widdert. Here is trolleybus 182 in March 2011. It has since lost its all-over advertising and like most of this series carries a livery of the city colours of Solingen
Bottom: Trolleybus 1 which has been in a museum in England since 1969 and former Baden Baden trolleybus 231are expected as guest historic vehicles at the 60th anniversary celebrations. They are pictured at the 50th anniversary being overtaken at Graf Wilhelm Platz by MAN three axle trolleybus 54.
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