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trolley:firmen - Hess AG: First SwissTrolley4 Delivered

J. Lehmann - 21.01.13

By late 2012, Carrosserie Hess delivered the 12 double articulated trolleybuses for Zurich as well as the four SwissTrolley4 to Limoges and the first five SwissTrolley4 for Lausanne. Including the two additional Winterthur trolleybuses, Hess produced 23 units last year. By the end of 2012 there was a model change to the SwissTrolley4 design with the deliveries to Limoges and Lausanne While Lausanne and Zurich selected a front, which is identical to the previous Swisstrolley3,for the 21 articulated trolleybuses, the four SwissTrolley4 for Limoges received a tram-like front.
The body is identical, only the front door differs according to the style of front. Thus, in the SwissTrolley4 with a conventional front, the door opening accommodates a 1.3 meter wide double leaf inward-swinging door. However, since Lausanne wanted a single leaf front door, a glass pane has been positioned behind the door. When the tram-like front is chosen there is only space for a 85cm wide single leaf outward-swinging door.
The SwissTrolley 4 are given a chassis design that is now constructed in modular fashion for optimized weight. At the, independent suspension is installed for increased ride comfort. The drive axle, also supplied by ZF, is more stable and allows for a wider gangway through the vehicle. The interior lighting is provided by durable, low-maintenance LED lamps.
Testing and adjustment trips for the tram-style SwissTrolley4 delivered to Limoges in December 2012 are being conducted and the acceptance of vehicles is expected in the coming week. The 21 Zurich trolleybuses are in production, and delivery is expected to be complete by late summer of 2013. Meanwhile the first eleven Swiss trolleys for Arnhem are under construction. The first vehicles for Arnhem are already in final assembly, with delivery scheduled between April 2013 and June 2013. More of the total order for 31 trolleybuses will be produced in 2016 and 2017. In the second half of the year the remaining 22 SwissTrolley4 for Lausanne will be delivered.
SwissTrolley 837 from Lausanne, which was damaged after an accident in August, was repaired at the Hess factory. It was transported to Lausanne last Saturday (19.01.2013) along with SwissTrolley4 Nr.868. The latter was lightly damaged in an accident during its original delivery and had to be repaired at the factory.
The Swiss Trolleys (5234-5242) delivered to Arnhem in 2009 have been retrofitted with an air conditioning system for the entire passenger compartment and an electrically operated wheelchair ramp.
Regarding Hybrid buses, two double articulated buses were delivered to Hamburg in April. The prototype vehicle built in 2007 went to Luxembourg. The Emile Weber company now has three double articulated hybrid buses. In this context, the two series vehicles delivered in 2009 had an overhaul in the second half of 2012, during which the software was optimised by Vossloh Kiepe. The original Cummins diesel engines remain on the two 2009 vehicles, while the former prototype has a Scania engine.
A further four double articulated hybrid buses are in production. These vehicles were originally intended for the GVU in Utrecht, but the order was cancelled. Negotiations for the sale to another operator are nearing completion.
The hybrid articulated bus used for a year by seven Swiss bus companies, supported by VöV, the Association of Public Transport Switzerland, is currently operating in Solothurn. It remains the property of Hess and receives optimizations that can be directly tested in regular service.

Translation: Martin Wright

At the well-attended open house on 25.08.2012, a fifth vehicle could be seen in the same finish as the SwissTrolley4. It is the electrobus for the planned trial operation in Geneva.
Photographer : Jürgen Lehmann

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