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Luzern [CH] - Test Journeys for the New Trolleybus Order Cause a Stir

J. Lehmann - 31.12.12

Offers were expected by the end of 2012 in response to the tender published on 20.10.12 for nine double-articulated trolleybuses. A prerequisite to the tender is testing and trial runs with vehicles of similar construction. So a double articulated hybrid Van Hool bus was transferred to Luzern on 12/05/2012 to carry out test journeys. The trials involved one of the three ExquiCity diesel-electric buses ordered by Barcelona. This vehicle caused a stir even on the motorway journey. A reader reporter for the daily newspaper "Blick" (see the link "more information") reported that he was puzzled by a train on the motorway. After evaluation of tenders a decision will be taken in March 2013 on which manufacturer will deliver the nine double articulated vehicles (plus an option for another 18) from 2014.

The timetable change in December 2012 took place without significant changes to the trolley bus routes. Only route 4 received an additional trip at 5:40 a.m. from Hubelmatt arriving at the station at 5:48 a.m. , so that passengers can catch the first train to Basel and Bern. On the bus system routes 22 and 23 were strengthened. Thus, route 23 runs every 7 ½ minutes in the peak hours. The section should be electrified in the coming years under the concept "Agglomobil due". The S-Bahn lines S4/S5 got a new stop at Allmend / Exhibition, which was previously only served by bus route 20, which, like the S-Bahn lines also runs to Horw.

In mid-October 2012, the VBL tested a Solaris Urbino all-electric midibus on route 11. This has a 120 kW electric motor and two batteries provide enough power for a range of about 100 km. After that batteries, each weighing 700 kg, require charging. Overall, the VBL was satisfied by the electric bus and sees the possibility that the small and thus lighter vehicles may now be economically viable because of the relationship between their weight and power requirements. The official press release said that, "For larger and heavier vehicles such as articulated or double articulated buses, the trolleybus still has clear advantages".

Translation: Martin Wright

The trolleybus and trailer units on route 1 are to be replaced by double articulated vehicles in 2014. Here trolleybus 270 with trailer turns at Luzerner Hof. Photographer : Jürgen Lehmann

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