Wellington [NZ] - Weekend running to be reintroduced
J. Lehmann - 22.12.08
Wellington – New Zealand
To date 32 new three axle Trolleybuses manufactured by Designline have been put into service. They have the consecutive fleet numbers 331 to 362. During September 17 of the new vehicles were delivered with a further 6 in November and again 9 during the first half of December. A further five vehicles were due before Christmas 2008. Together with the three, 2 axle prototypes, numbers 301 to 303, just over half the fleet is now made up of low floor vehicles.
The new Trolleybus timetable valid from mid February 2009 now has weekend and night running as well as weekdays planned. For the last eight years the Trolleybuses have only been operating from Mondays to Fridays. In particular on Saturdays on routes 1, 2, 37 and 11 a high frequency will be operated.
Parallel to the part renewal of the fleet investments are being made in the overhead infrastructure. In the past few months the overhead has been completely replaced along the length of Riddiford Street serving routes 1, 10 and 11. The same applies to the Hataitai tunnel serving routes 2 and 5. Also quite a few of the old wooden masts have been replaced with steel masts.
Of the original 68 Volvo Trolleybuses built between 1980 and 1986 (see Wellington facts and figures) only 26 are still in operation. During 2008 20 Volvo Trolleybuses were scrapped and their electric components used for the new vehicles. The vehicles which were scrapped were: 209, 210, 212, 216, 219, 221, 225, 226, 232, 236, 237, 241, 242, 243, 246, 249, 254, 256, 259 and 266.
Our Photo shows Volvo Trolleybus type B58 number 268, the youngest of the Volvo vehicles having first been registered on 20.08.1986, at the Island Bay Terminus of Route 1 on 03.04.2008
Photo: Alan Wickens