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trolley:planung - Bremen: Bremen Focuses on Electric Traction

J. Lehmann - 18.02.13

A Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE electric bus was used on suburban bus route 82 in Gröpelingen for about four weeks from the 15th January 2012. The 8.95-meter-long vehicle with a capacity of up to 62 passengers (seated and standing) is powered by a 120 kW induction motor. Vossloh Kiepe was responsible for the traction equipment and efficient energy management for this vehicle. Around 120 km can be covered daily on a single battery charge. Lithium-ion batteries provide energy storage. They can be charged at a charging point in four hours, but also a quick-charging station can be used, which reduces the charge to less than an hour and a half, but this reduces the service life of the bus. Recharging through a plug-in connection via a simple 400 V AC power outlet (63A) is also possible.

The 220 buses of Bremer Straßenbahn AG (BSAG) will be replaced in the long term by buses without a combustion engine. Here, the testing of buses with hybrid drive provided bridging technology and now BSAG is focussing on the electric version of these buses. The 33 Mercedes Citaro O 530 G articulated diesel buses ordered from Evobus for delivery at the end of 2013 are to be the last purchases of diesel vehicles in the next couple of years. In two years new vehicles will again be ordered and this period is to be used to test electric bus technology. Thereafter it is planned that the diesel bus will gradually be replaced by zero emission buses, so that in 2026 the entire fleet of BSAG will consist of electrically powered buses. Trolleybus technology is also to be considered. In order to charge the batteries during service, the buses will draw the required electricity from overhead lines. Here, the existing infrastructure of the tram overhead can be used. A feasibility study for the first experiments with this technique has already been commissioned.

More than 50 years ago there was a trolleybus service in Bremen. Trolleybuses replaced trams on a busy national highway that in parts was only 7.60 m wide. The 7 km long stretch from Gröpelingen to Burgdamm was served every 4-5 minutes during rush hours and every 7 ½ minutes from 9 3 p.m. In Burgdamm there was a transfer point to buses, which connected to the different communities in the northern area of the city of Bremen. Thus passengers from the city often had to change twice, so it was decided to extend the bus routes to Gröpelingen through to the tram terminus. Even today this situation persists. Several routes operate from Gröpelingen into the northern districts of Bremen and thus the former trolleybus route is now served at 5-minute intervals by various bus routes.
Translation: Martin Wright

Above: A factory photo of the Solaris Urbino 8.9 LE. Source: Courtesy of Solaris
Below: Until 1961 passengers could change from tram into trolleybus in Gröpelingen. Source: Götz Rümpler (Archive Werner Stock ECR L.Kenning)

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