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Sanremo [IT] - Ongoing Discussions

K. Budach - 29.04.13


As previously reported, Riviera Transport (RT) intends to acquire hydrogen buses with funding from the EU. The first vehicle delivered from VanHool was presented on 29 March 2012. In November 2012, the City Council gave approval to the project to RT. For the purchase of five new vehicles, the company received the necessary funding of the European Union. The total cost is € 31.5 million, of which € 13.5 million will be financed by the EU.
RT intends to use these subsidised clean vehicles to replace the far more environmentally friendly trolleybus. Expert journalists have warned against this step and also point to the high energy consumption, which is needed for the production of hydrogen. Funding of the project and the much higher operating costs only runs until 2016.
The tried and trusted trolleybuses continue to operate on just two routes. The frequency on the urban route U has already been thinned dramatically in recent years. On route V (or 2) to Ventimiglia, which is approximately 17.4 km long, only four of the eight runs can be operated by trolleybuses because a substation was damaged by a lightning strike a few years ago.
The third former trolleybus line T, which received 2 km of new overhead line in Taggia in the wake of the construction of the new railway alignment and the associated construction of the new station, which opened in December 2001, cannot be operated by trolleybuses because roundabouts were built on the route without adaptation of the overhead . Only a 20-minute service is required on this route.
After withdrawal at the end of 2011 of the last of the 1988-built Menarini vehicles, nos. 1600-1602 are in the depot awaiting scrapping, ten of the Series 1700 (Bredabus 4001.12 / AEG, built 1991) trolleybuses are available. Some trolleybuses have received an overhaul of their electrical equipment, for example trolleybus 1701 at the end of 2012. It re-entered regular service in early January 2013. Also one of the two Solaris Trollino 12 trolleybuses (built 2007) is again regularly in use, after individual electronic components on 1801 were replaced.
Line U is a additional service in the city centre and only runs every 20 minutes and in the afternoon only every 30 minutes. Now RT has had to introduce an emergency timetable from 08.04.2013 reducing the service, in order to counteract their poor financial situation. So in the evening, routes U, T, and V (2) only operate until 9pm instead of midnight. On Sundays route V (2) to Ventimiglia only operates every 30 minutes, replacing the 20-minute service and on Sunday mornings the service will be every hour.
Translation: Martin Wright
Photos:
Top: Three trolleybuses from the 1700 series in the depot are at the museums trolleybus 29, which a year ago made a special trip on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the trolleybus system
Below: History since the end of 2011: trolleybus 1602 built in 1988 is in service on Line U. In the left of the photo the route of the original, partly single-track railway line can be seen.
Photographer: J. Lehmann, 4.4.2008


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