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Bologna [IT] - Crealis instead of Civis

J. Lehmann - 28.01.13

After the completion of the overhead wiring on route 14, the Solaris Trollino trolleybuses bought in 2010 are used on the 14. A large proportion of up to nearly 30 runs in the rush hour are, however, served by buses. Between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. it runs every 4 minutes, and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. every 5 minutes, and at other times every 6-7 minutes.

The route is only driven electrically to just before the stop "Ttangenziale San Vitale". Although the overhead to the depot at Due Madonne has since been finished , the sub-station required for the power supply is still missing. The service to the Due Madonna depot (line 14A) is driven in diesel mode as are the branches to Pilastro (line 14C) and Rontonda Negroni (line 14B).

While routes 13 and 33, are mainly served by trolleybuses, since the end of October 2012 only buses have been used on the ring line 32. Only 46 articulated trolleybuses and some standard trolleybuses are available to cover 80 runs on the four trolleybus routes, so that the use of diesel buses is essential. Standard trolleybuses are used in the morning peak on route 13, as this route is still fed with 600V voltage, while the two ring lines (32 and 33) and route 14 are supplied with 750 V. The Solaris Trollino trolleybuses were equipped for this purpose, while the second series of MAN-Bussotto/Autodromo/Kiepe- articulated trolleybuses (1041-1055, built in 1999) have been modified, but so far only a few vehicles from the older series from 1996 (1021 to 1040) have been rebuilt.

An increase in the fleet is being made with the purchase of 49 Crealis articulated trolleybuses from Irisbus. After long negotiations and the interim termination of the Civis contract, agreement was reached in late November 2012 between Irisbus, the city of Bologna and the transport company TPER to replace the 49 Civis articulated vehicles (which have a central driver's seat) with 49 18 m long articulated trolleybuses with a conventionally-positioned driver's seat on the left side. Optical guidance will only be used for the entry to the bus stops.
Following the signing of the agreement, the Mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola announced that the new trolley buses will be delivered at no extra charge and will meet the criteria for confirmation of funding from the Ministry. The Crealis trolleybuses will have a diesel generator for off-wire operation and the engines will comply with the Euro 6 emission control and not Euro 3, as on the Civis. A prototype is already in production and delivery is scheduled in the summer of 2013. After approval by the Ministry of Transport and the test runs to check the guidance into the stops, Irisbus will deliver the first 20 Crealis within 24 months, the remainder should then arrive by mid-2016. It is planned to convert route 19 to trolleybus operation by this time. Up to now only the two terminal stops in San Lazzaro have been fitted with overhead and optical tracking markings to carry out tests on the Civis track guidance. Because of the high failure rate during tracking tests the vehicles failed the official inspection and did not receive type approval. The construction of additional overhead wiring was therefore discontinued.

Translation: Martin Wright

The MAN-Bussotto/Autodromo/Kiepe trolleybus 1038 has already received an upgrade to 750V, recognisable only by the new roof boxes behind the trolley poles
Photographer : J├╝rgen Lehmann, November 2012

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