Cagliari [IT] - First test phase of the ZeEus project
J. Lehmann - 18.04.16
On 5 March 2016, the first two Solaris units with auxiliary battery packs were ceremoniously launched for trial services on line 5. The trolleys de-wire at the main railway station (Stazione FS) and rewire after a 1.2 km long route at Bonaria (Banco di Sardegna). The section without catenary is either completed in battery or diesel mode. In the opposite direction, the automatic de-wiring takes place at the Bonaria stop along the namesake Viale Bonaria, while rewiring occurs at Trieste.
In order to ease the re-wiring process, the catenary has been fitted with a special hopper. As the bus bays at the actual passenger stops are often blocked by parked cars, the trolleys need to de- or re-wire in the middle of the road. Aside from the two new battery trolleys, the Solaris Trollino units 712-716 are also used and for these purposes have been fitted with special diagnostic software. Additionally, the two diesel buses 410 and 411 run on line 5, so as to gain comparative data between the diesels and the trolleys.
As of early June, line 5 will be extended to the Poetto beach.The service pattern will then feature an 8-minute interval from the morning until 13:00, requiring 15 turns as part of the deployment diagram. The route section without wires will be 4.5 km long. In order to allow successful re-charging while the buses do run under the wires, an extra stretch of catenary and a hopper will be erected at the hospital. Building permits for these new installations are presently pending approval, with construction likely to start in in May 2016. Once again, all of the different vehicle types will be deployed to Poetto, so as to gain valuable comparative data as part of the ZeEus project (Zero Emission Urban Bus System).
Just in time for the extension of route 5, the VanHool trolleybuses are expected to enter revenue service. These vehicles numbered 719-728 are all fitted with back-up diesel motors. Since early February 2016, these units have already been fully authorized. The battery trolley Nr. 731 has also been delivered and eventually the entire VanHool series will comprise of 14 new trolleybuses. They will replace the last type Fiat-Iveco 2470.12/Socimi Sardegna units dating from 1991. From this series of 16 high-floor trolleys, only the three units 639, 647 and 651 remain in active use, with 10 others stored at the depot as spare parts donors.
Top: During the re-wiring process, Solaris Trollino 717 is seen along Viale Bonaria. This is one of the new battery trolleys supplied by the consortium of Solaris and Skoda.
Bottom:Trolley 726 bathes in the sun at the local depot.
Images: Jürgen Lehmann, 15.04.2016
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