Arnhem [NL] - Fleet renewal follows award of new concession
J. Lehmann - 25.02.12
Breng (a brand name of the transport group Connexxion) has won the concession to provide transport services in Arnhem and Nijmegen for ten years from 9th December 2012. The concession was awarded by the local authority in July 2011. In addition to a requirement that all diesel buses should be replaced by natural gas buses (MAN is delivering 143 standard length CNG buses), all other buses including the trolleybuses should have a working life of no more than 15 years. Therefore trolleybuses 5201-5211, which were delivered up to 1998 must be replaced by 2013 and trolleybuses 5212-31, dating from 2001-2002 must be replaced by 2016-17. A tender for the supply of 31 trolleybuses was issued at the end of 2011. Four bids have been received as follows: Hess, Van Hool, VDL and Solaris. The first three would have a Vossloh-Kiepe traction package while the Solaris vehicles would have Skoda equipment. The tender was based on the 2009 contract specification, but with the addition of a requirement imposed by the local authority that all buses in the fleet be equipped with air conditioning and electric wheelchair ramps.
A decision is expected by the end of March. There are four possible delivery schedules ranging from delivery of all 31 trolleybuses in 2013 through to staging the deliveries with eleven units in June 2013, ten in autumn 2016 und ten in spring 2017. If all 31 trolleybuses are delivered in 2013, retrofitting of the Berkhof trolleybuses with air conditioning and electric wheelchair ramps can be avoided.
All 31existing low floor trolleybus will be available for sale between 2013 and 2017. In accordance with a requirement of the local authority, the remaining two high floor trolleybuses will have to be taken out of service on the occasion of the timetable change on 9th December 2012. At the moment their operation is limited to route 2.
It is hoped to optimise the linking of the five trolleybus routes with their nine main arteries so that only 38 runs will be needed. Moreover an expansion of the network is being planned. The most advanced project is the extension of route 1 to Huissen, a town of 18,000 in the neighbouring community of Lingewaard. The work can begin as soon as the community approves the financing of part of the cost of the approximately 4km of overhead.
From 13 February to 9 March 2012 the terminus at Geitenkamp could not be used because of construction work. Trolleybuses turned using auxiliary power at Schuttersbergplein, from where a shuttle bus took passengers via a detour to their destinations. In the evenings and, as far as possible during the daytime, buses were used on route 7.
The replacement of the strip-card by a smartcard has meant that tourists and occasional passengers can only buy expensive single tickets (at 2 or 3 Euros). A smartcard can of course be bought but this has an initial administration charge of 10 Euros. It is hoped to fill this gap in the market by offering a day ticket for tourists from summer 2012. See the link with More Information.
Translation: Martin Wright
Above: From December 2012 only low-floor trolleybuses will operate on the current route 2 to Hoogkamp. On 24 February 2012 a holiday timetable meant that there were enough trolleybuses available to allow SwissTrolley 5142 to provide service on the 30 minute frequency.
Below: Schedule adherence on route 1 has been improved by the installation of a bus lane on the John Frost Bridge over the Rhine and one run has been saved. Here Berkhof trolleybus 5215 is heading out of town across the bridge, which now has only one lane in each direction for general traffic. Photographer: J. Lehmann, 24.02.2012
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