Winterthur [CH] - And the winner is....
J. Lehmann - 23.02.09
Winterthur – Switzerland
According to today's press release from "Stadtbus Winterthur" the contract for 21 new articulated Trolleybuses has been awarded to "Carrosserie Hess". Funds for the purchase amounting to 26 million Swiss Francs, or 17,2 million Euros, has been granted by the town council. It is to take the form of a credit in the form of earmarked funds specifically for the purchase of these vehicles.
After the public invitation to bid had been released (see our report from 01.09.2008) an evaluation of the four offers which had been made was undertaken. All four manufacturers were invited to display their product at the TrolleyMotion congress in Zurich.
After the presentation in Zurich the Neoplan Articulated Trolley with the series number 69 and destined eventually for Barquisimeto arrived at Winterthur in mid November for testing.
The Hess "SwissTrolley", Zürich number 151, was sent to Winterthur where it was also tested during December.
In order to inspect the VanHool Trolleybus o n offer a delegation was sent to Solingen at the end of November.
The fourth and final model, a Solaris from Poland was well known to the Winterthur operator as several are already in Service there.
The decision to order the Hess vehicles was based on various factors amongst which were the low sound levels within the vehicles whilst in operation, the low energy consumption of the vehicles and the high loading capacity. A furthger deciding factor was the nearness of the manufacturer to Winterthur and the advantages this would bring in the event of guarantee or servicing and spare parts.
The first of the Winterthur "SwissTrolleys" is to be delivered during the latter half of the summer of 2009 and the remaining 20 are to follow in three series by the spring of 2011.
Due to space problems the large number of historic vehicles belonging to the "Stadtbus Winterthur" has had to be reduced. The 1966 Berna/Hess Trolleybus number 118 left the Depot at Grüzefeld during 2008 and this has now been followed by the Saurer/FHS/Strömberg-Gelenktrolleybus Trolleybus number 131. It has been taken over by a small group of enthusiasts who towed it away at the end of November 2008.
There are still several conservation worthy vehicles stored in the cellars of the company. These include a 1960, and two 1948 Saurer two axle Trolleybuses numbers 50, 22 and 25 which were most recently used as de-icing vehicles. There are also several diesel buses including the 1938 front motor diesel bus which was converted to an overhead maintenance vehicle.
Our top photo shows a design study of the new Hess "SwissTrolley" for Winterthur.
The second photo shows three of the contenders for the Winterthur contract. From left to right they are Neoplan Solaris and Hess at the Schlieren terminus in Zürich at the TrolleyMotion Congress on 19.11.2008. The VanHool Trolleybus is not in the picture
Photos: Top Stadtbus Winterthur, Bottom: Jürgen Lehmann
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