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Salzburg [AT] - Tender for 50 new trolleybuses

J. Lehmann - 29.09.18


On 17 September 2018, Salzburg AG published a tender for the procurement of 50 new trolleybuses. The first batch is to consist of 11 vehicles, with options for 39 more. It is planed to acquire articulated or double-articulated vehicles with battery packs for off-wire operations. The delivery timescale is planned to take anywhere from 2 to 9 years, depending on final contractual agreements.

The first 11 trolleys will help implement the new "eBus" project, which was first presented in April 2018. This improvement measure seeks to connect the commune of Grödig to the electric bus network, by extending trolleybus line 5 from September 2019 onwards. For this 4.2 km long line extension from the Birkensiedlung turn-off to the Untersbergbahn in Grödig, the trolleys will run in battery mode. At the same time, previous plans to retrofit existing trolleys with batteries have been scrapped.

Salzburg's newest trolleybuses were delivered between June and September 2018. They have been numbered as 367-371 and their supply was still based on a previous order dating from 2012. Recently, only the older Gräf & Stift trolley Nr. 248 has been withdrawn and relegated to spare parts donor. As many as 15 other Gräf & Stift plus VanHool trolleys have been out of service during the past few months, due to rust deterioration on the undercarriage frames. These problems as well as an acute shortage of trolleybus drivers caused quite a stir in the local press and made for prominent headlines. The general shortage of vehicles frequently forced the short-term deployment of heritage buses as substitute units.

Images:
Top: Previously this Gräf & Stift trolley made waves because of its prominent red livery, now it has been sidelined because of rust problems.
Bottom: The 30 VanHool trolleys have also been damaged by rust. The pictured unit 283 has now been repaired by the manufacturer and is already back in service. Photos: J. Lehmann, 05.05.2017


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