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City-News Archive

Fribourg [CH] - 100 Years of Trolleybuses in Switzerland

J. Lehmann - 06.08.12

Over 100 years ago on 4th January 1912 the first trolleybus route in Switzerland opened between the old station in Fribourg and Posieux. The route was extended to Farvagny by 1916 and reached 12.5 km in length. The “Compagnie des omnibus électriques Fribourg–Farvagny“ offered a daily service, which peaked at five return journeys a day, using one of three vehicles made by the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in Vienna. Its last day of service was 21st May 1932. A few days later a diesel bus took over the service, covering the journey in 30 minutes rather than the 50 minutes need by the “trackless“.

The Club du Tramway de Fribourg has produced an exhibition which brings the history of this first route to life. The exhibition can be seen at the Auberge de la Croix-Blanche in Posieux between 13th August and 23rd September. There is an opening event on the Monday at 9.30 am, to which representatives of the authorities and the press are invited. The historic motor bus will be on show and will do two sightseeing journeys, on 25th August and 2nd September. Because of the limited number of seats, these journeys need to be booked in advance. The trips will run along the original route and will show the remaining evidence of the trolleybus period, 80 years after the closure. For example the garages at Villars-sur-Glâne and Farvagny still survive, though they now serve other purposes.

100 years ago the trolleybus was seen as an attractive alternative to laying a narrow guage tramway to the surrounding communities. The town itself had possessad a tramway since 1897, which after 1949 was gradually replaced by trolleybuses. Today there are three trolleybus routes in the town with 21 trolleybuses in service. A special feature is on route 1, which uses diesel mode outside the town itself to serve the community of Marly to the south and Portes de Fribourg in Granges-Paccot to the north.

Translation: Martin Wright

Poster about the exhibition. For information and registration see below on the webside of Tramclub Fribourg (TCF)

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