Tiraspol [MD] - A gift from Minsk
J. Lehmann - 25.02.12
The fleet has been rejuvenated and expanded by the gift of 15 well-maintained trolleybuses from Minsk, which is the second largest trolleybus system in the world.
The vehicles which arrived in 2009, admittedly up to 20 years old but had been given a major overhaul a few years before. They have gradually entered service with the numbers 238-249. However, in mid-2011 three vehicles remained unused in the depot. The fleet consists of about 40 trolleybuses all of type ZIU 682. They were introduced into service as new between 1990 and 1994 after which the operator couldnt buy any new vehicles. In 2006 the operator received three used ZIU from Moscow of which two remain in service. In 1993 the operator also received two articulated trolleybuses but these are out of service. One is parked in the depot while the other has been in the workshops for a long time waiting for a major overhaul. Meanwhile about 20 trolleybuses that have been used, sometimes for several years, as sources for spare parts are waiting in the depot for the official approval for scrapping.
The network has been optimised in recent years but 23 -24 trolleybuses continue to operate on the six routes and the interurban route. The operator allocates three trolleybuses to the joint route with the neighbouring town of Bendery. The route makes a loop through the town centre and then travels about 10km over the river Nistru to its neighbour. A branch to Timauca was once planned and masts were planted but the overhead was never erected.
The neighbouring town of Bendery also received 15 vehicles from Minsk. Both places are in the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic, which is not recognised internationally as a sovereign state, but which is practically independent of the central government in Chisinau (in Moldova).
Translation: Martin Wright
ZIU 682 No.245, formerly Minsk 5088, in service on the interurban route 19, which is jointly operated with the neighbouring town of Bendery.
Photographer: Yury Maller, 05.05.2011
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