trolley:planung - Pescara: The first Phileas has arrived
J. Lehmann - 28.11.11
On Saturday 19th November 2011, the GTM presented the Phileas to the public. The mayors of Pescara and Montesilvano were present and gave introductory speeches. The presentation of the Filo (as the trolleybus and the system is to be called) took place on Via Regina Margherita as part of an ecological weekend. Not everybody welcomed the new vehicle; a group of attendees protested against the project and in favour of the retention of the area as a parkway. However 70% of residents voted in favour of the system in a survey.
Since commencement of construction in autumn 2009 only the roadway along the former railway line has been completed, along which distinctive steel masts of a special design have been erected. Because of the realignment of the railway from Pescara to Ancona, a new higher level double track alignment has been constructed between Pescara and Montesilvano. This includes a new railway station in Pescara. The first conceptual design for this station stems from 1962, while the main wing was opened in 1988. The area of the old rail track layout now serves as a huge parking lot in front of the station building. The old station building stands almost in the centre of this square with a steam locomotive forming a monument next to it. The bus station, from which both town and interurban buses depart, is in front of the old railway station. The urban system is called GTM (Gestione Trasporti Metropolitani S.p.A.), while the interurban system is called ARPE. The depots of both operators lie about 2km south west of the station. A depot for the Phileas with an office building is being built next to the GTM bus depot.
The first Phileas left APTS Helmond (Netherlands) on 26th October and arrived in Pescara on the 28th. The vehicle has already received a homologation but for the moment without the automatic steering that has caused problems in Bologna. After the press show, the vehicle went to Modena where it was tested for electromagnetic environmental safety. After tests, series production is expected in 2012 in the run up to the completion of the line.
In total six vehicles have been ordered for the route, which runs 8.17 km between Pescara and Montesilvano and has 24 stops. At the moment bus route 38 runs between the two destinations using the main road but the trolleybus will use a 4.9 km stretch of the former railway with 13 stops. There are plans for an extension with two branches one to Francavilla al mare (currently route 2) and the other to the airport (as route 38).
Photos: J. Lehmann
Above: The first Phileas trolleybus of the GTM Pescara at the depot on 17th November 2011. By the time of the presentation on 19th November it had received a decorative wrap over the silver sides (see link to more information)
Below: the future route under construction on the former railway line.
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