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Trolleybus city: Zurich [Schweiz]

General Information

Mercedes Benz articulated Tb 23 on 1.10.1989 on the way to Witikon in the turn
City: Zurich (366.145 citizens)
Country: Schweiz
Opened: 27.05.1939
Network: 54 km
Length: 54 km
Lines: 6
Vehicles: 75 Trolleybuses
Operator: Verkehrsbetriebe Zurich (VBZ Züri-Linie)
Remarks: State: 31.01.2016
Link to route-sheme:
Liniennetzplan Stadt ZH.pdf

Present State

The six Trolleybus routes have a day time service of 7� minutes. These routes are cross town routes. Since the introduction of the new timetables on 10.12.2006 route 32 has a rush hour peak service between 07:00 and 09:00 AM and 04:00 and 06:00 PM of every five minutes. An order for 21 new articulated Trolleybuses and 12 new double articulated Trolleybuses will be placed in 2011.

News for Zurich

Date Headline
10.04.2017 All trolleybuses soon equipped with battery packs!
23.01.2017 Presentation SwissTrolley plus
02.01.2017 Battery retrofit in full swing
19.09.2016 Elektrifizierungsstrategy «eBus VBZ»
25.07.2016 First SwissTrolley rebuild with energypack
18.01.2016 Battery mode proves successful
10.08.2015 Unusual destinations due to roadworks
06.07.2015 Rebuild of Albisriederplatz leeds to regulary battery-service
13.04.2015 Using Battery-traction
18.11.2013 All 21 SwissTrolley4 Delivered
29.07.2013 Exercised for Two `Longos´
08.04.2013 First SwissTrolley4 Delivered
03.12.2012 Delivery of Double Articulated Trolleybuses Completed
08.10.2012 Loan to Austria
27.08.2012 First of 33 New Trolleybuses is Delivered
09.04.2012 Two More Trolleybus Routes from 2017
09.01.2012 Will there come a program for new trolleybus-routes?
30.05.2011 New LighTram will come in 2012
16.02.2009 "LighTram" for route 32 as well
04.08.2008 Generation-Change almost fulfilled
28.04.2008 LighTram: Flexible in the loop
10.02.2008 New trolleybuses in delivery
17.08.2007 Zurich welcomes the first of 17 double articulated trolleybuses
30.01.2007 Further articulated Trolleybuses delivered.
14.11.2006 Articulated Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe Trolleybus no. 144 in service
25.01.2006 Zurich (CH). Successful runs of the LighTram
10.01.2006 Double articulated trolleybus in regular service


line route length frequency1
31 Schlieren - Farbhof - Hardplatz - Bahnhofplatz/HB - Kreuzplatz - Hegibachplatz km 7½/7½
32 Holzerhurd - Bucheggplatz - Hardplatz - Rotbuchstrasse - Goldbrunnenplatz - Strassenverkehrsamt km 6 /7½
33 Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen - Hegibachplatz - Klusplatz - Kirche Flundern - Rotbuchstrasse - Hardplatz - Albisriederplatz - Triemli km 7½/7½
34 Klusplatz - Witikon km 7½/7½
46 Bahnhofquai/HB - Rütihof km 5-6/7-8
71 Rosengartenstraße - Albisriederplatz km 8/ -
72 Milchbuck - Bucheggplatz - Hardplatz - Utobrücke - Morgental km 7½/7½

1 frequency: minutes peak / off peak

Lines: 6


numbers quant. vehicle delivery
61 - 77 17 Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe DGT 2007/08
78 - 91 14 Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe DGT 2012/14
106, 122, 131, 142 4 Mercedes-Benz O405GTZ/ABB 1994
144 1 Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe 2006
145 - 161 17 Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe 2007
162 - 182 21 Hess/Vossloh-Kiepe GN 2013

Vehicles: 75 trolleybuses


The first route of this system, route B (Bezirksgeb�ude - Bucheggplatz), went into service on the 27th. of May 1939. This route, which was 4.1 km in length, was followed in June 1942 by route A with a length of 5.7 km and in 1946 by route C (Klusplatz-Witikon) at 2.5 kilometres total length. Route C, being cut off from the depot in Flundern, used a single axle trailer type of construction via which it was able to take power from the overhead wiring of tram system. With these trailers, four in all, the Trolleybuses traversed the distance between depot and Klusplatz where the Trolleybus overhead was installed. It was not until the 13th. of February 1956 that these trailers could be abandoned and overhead to and from the Trolleybus depot was installed.
Route B was extended to Utohof on the 4th. February 1952.
1952 also saw the procurement of 10 new Trolleybuses which were partly as replacements for the six 1939 vehicles that had been given to other systems during 1951.

On the 11th. of October the routes were designated new numbers and routes A, B and C became 33, 32 and 34 consecutively. On the 1st. of January 1957 the new Trolleybus route 31 was inaugurated. This route was originally tram route 1. Only seven days after its inauguration it was extended to Farbhof and a little over a year later, on 08.04.1958 a further extension to Schlieren followed. A further 25 solo 12 metre Trolleybuses had been purchased for route 31. During 1957 an articulated Trolleybus was successfully tested and eventually led to the purchase, during the period 1959 to 1964, of 32 articulated Trolleybuses. The company was able to sell the relatively young 12 metre vehicles to Geneva and Lausanne.
On the 30th. of October 1967 route 33 was converted to diesel bus operation due to extensive road works. The beginning of the seventies saw a definite reversal of the anti Trolleybus trend and, as a result, on the 3rd. of May 1971 route 34 was extended as far as Witikion. In May of the next year the town council approved a credit for the purchase of 31 new articulated Trolleybuses and the conversion of three diesel bus routes to Trolleybus operation. The first of these routes to be realised was route 74 which went into service on the 2nd. of April 1975. The plans for route 62 were abandoned because of a railway crossing with overhead for the trains and road works. Instead route 33 was converted back to Trolleybus operation and incorporated with diesel bus route 73 to make a new, long semi circular route.

In 1986 and 1987 a Mercedes Benz Trolleybus type O 405 GTZ was successfully tested. This test phase led to an order being placed for 35 vehicles of this type which were delivered during 1988. These new Trolleybuses replaced the vehicles which were taken into service between 1959 and 1964. During 1994 a further 43 articulated Trolleybuses were acquired as replacements for the 1975 series and for Trolleybus nr. 12 which was destroyed by fire on the 1st. March 1992. The conversion of two further diesel bus routes to Trolleybus had also dictated an increase in the fleet size.
The 1st. of September 1994 saw the inauguration of the first conversion, route 72 and just under a year later, on the 28th. of May 1995, route 46 also went into service as a Trolleybus route. Route 33 was also extended, by 3.8 kilometres, on the 2nd. of November 1998 from Fluntern to Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen. This route now has a total length of 14.5 kilometres.
The last 10 years have seen a total expansion of the network from 36.3 kilometres in 1996 to the present day 57.8 kilometres.

The last 12m-trolleybuses served in the last operational years only as driving school cars, here tro