Zurich [CH] - First of 33 New Trolleybuses is Delivered
J. Lehmann - 27.08.12
The first double articulated trolleybus of the 12 units ordered in 2011 was delivered to the VBZ on 17th August. These are nearly identical to the 17 double articulated trolleybuses (nos.61 77) delivered in 2007/8. They will be more environmentally friendly than their predecessors by having a traction battery in place of the auxiliary diesel engine. They can offer a high quality ride even on detours or through roadworks thanks to their quietness.
Trolleybus 78 will take up its first service on 6th September with timetabled runs on route 32. Following the successful conversion of route 31 five years ago, route is 32 also to be served by double articulated trolleybuses from the timetable change in December 2012.
The remaining 12 LighTram from Carrosserie Hess (nos. 79-89) will follow at weekly intervals from mid-September. The bodies are ready at Hess and at the moment the electric equipment is being installed by Vossloh-Kiepe.
Delivery of the new articulated 18m trolleybuses also ordered in 2011 will follow in December 2012 after the delivery of the last double articulated trolleybus. The first chassis are under construction at Hess. They fit the SwissTrolley4 specification but differ from the previous series through: ZF independent suspension on the front axle; strengthened drive axles from ZF, which also make a wider gangway possible; a weight-optimised chassis with central cable conduits and optimised linkage with the coachwork and lighting.
The 21 vehicles are replacing the existing fleet of 20 year old Mercedes Benz GTZ II O405. The intention is to have a completely low-floor bus fleet by the end of September 2013.
The press release also points out that 78 trolleybuses in the fleet in 2011 served 18.5% of passenger miles. Together with the tram nearly 80% of passenger miles on the VBZ network is provided by electromobility. It is planned to extend the network with the conversion of diesel bus routes 69 and 80 and funds are being sought from the second stage of the Conurbation Programme
In preparation for the delivery of the new trolleybuses, twelve double articulated trolleybuses will be parked in the yard of the central works from mid-August. They will take up service on routes 31 and 32 from there every morning, using their auxiliary motors.
Translation: Martin Wright
Above: Delivery of LighTram Nr.78 on 17.08.2012 in Zürich. Photographer: VBZ/Stadt Zürich
Below: Up till now double articulated trolleybuses have served route 32 only occasionally. Here is no. 63 at Limmatplatz. Photographer:Dirk Budach
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