Luzern [CH] - First catenary mast placed for line 1 extension
J. Lehmann - 07.10.18
On 1 October 2018 a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the extension of trolleybus line 1 to Ebikon-Fildern and the future terminus at the new Mall of Switzerland. Representatives from the local communes as well as Canton Lucerne participated by placing the first catenary mast in the middle of the traffic rotary at Schachenweid. Not all town politicians were present though, as representatives from the political parties FDP, CVP and SVP protested the use of power lines for this infrastructure project. They voiced their concerns about aesthetics and traffic management in a letter to the trolleybus operator VBL.
Eventually the new extension will feature 5 km of new power lines in order to ensure the extension of the rapid bus line 1 (RBus) to the region's largest shopping center. Revenue services on the prolonged line are expected to commence on 15 December 2019, as part of the annual timetable change.
During the coming months, another 250 masts will be placed, plus some wall anchors at certain locations. The wiring of the actual power lines is likely to commence in spring 2019, when two new substations will be built at Schmiedhof and in Fildern. In order to run the extended services on line 1, VBL has already ordered 5 more double-articulated trolleybuses from the Swiss supplier Hess.
As part of the line 1 extension, a new bus hub is to be built at Ebikon's railway station, providing ideal connectivity to other regional bus routes and S-Bahn commuter trains. Because of objections from local residents, the zoning and planing process at the site of the new hub has taken longer than originally anticipated though and won't be ready in time for December 2019. Therefore, the commune of Ebikon is preparing a temporary solution in order to accommodate the initial service launch.
In other news, since July 2018 an additional, dedicated bus line has been in use for the BRT-style RBus line 1. On the westbound run to Kriens, a 395 m long lane now helps accelerate trolleybus services along a former railway alignment. Work between the bus stops Grosshofstrasse and Kupferhammer had commenced in spring 2018 and was completed a few months later in summer. As a result of the improvement measures, the Kupferhammer stop has also been specially adapted for use by double-articulated vehicles.
Top: Running on RBus line 1, the "LighTramT No. 408 makes use of the new bus lane in Kriens. To the rear can be seen the old Eichhof brewery site, which is slated for comprehensive residential redevelopment during the coming years.
Bottom: LighTram 234 departs from the rebuilt station Kupferhammer, bound for Kriens and Obernau. Photos: J. Lehmann, 03.09.2018
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