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Limoges [FR] - Generation Change Completed

J. Lehmann - 22.07.13


The SwissTrolleys have been in service since 18.03.2013. In the first three months they have covered up to 12,000 km per vehicle (no.904). No. 902, which was presented by Hess at the UITP Congress in Geneva at the end of May 2013, has covered a little less. SwissTrolley 901, which was not used for a few weeks after a collision, also did a lower mileage. For final approval of the four vehicles, no.902 conducted a high-speed test in mid-June. The police cordoned off the Av. de la Révolution and Av. Georges Pompidou especially for this test. See the link "more information."

The situation has changed for the use of articulated vehicles at the route 4 trolleybus terminus at Montjovis. Until now the trolleybuses turned using a road triangle Av. Montjovis / Rue de Bellac / Av. du Parc. They now de-wire in Rue de Bellac and turn via the Rue de Poitiers. The Av. du Parc has been completely renovated and provided with a bus lane, on which the departure stop is located. This is now about 300 meters from the entrance of the Parc Municipal des Sports de Beaublanc. The stadium is being rebuilt and will in future hold 28,000 spectators. The original stadium was built in 1947 and only held 9,900 seats. The Sports Palace, built in 1981, is also located here. It hosts basketball games including the internationally renowned club CSP Limoges. After completion of the construction an extension to it is planned, thus the loop is temporary, and is covered using the auxiliary motor.

Following the procurement of the four articulated trolleybuses, the fleet has been reduced. The fleet now comprises 31 trolleybuses, of which 27 are 12m Cristalis trolleybuses. Until March 2013, the fleet still consisted of 36 trolleybuses, namely 27 Cristalis and 9 Renault ER100. The Renault trolleybuses 430, 433-439 were sold to Ruse. However, the ninth ER100 has remained in Limoges and with many older trolleybuses, such as a Vetra CB60 (No.18, in use 1944 to ca.1985) and a Vetra VBRh (No. 274, in use 1972 to 1989, formerly Paris 8090 in use 1953-1966) is stored by the city in a former barracks. However, a visit to the historic trolleybuses is not possible, they are only displayed in the depot on special occasions. Renault ER 100 No. 440 was the last of a total of 325 units produced between 1976 and 1989. In addition, another 64 DUO-180 PER trolleybuses were produced between 1982 and 1984.

33 vehicles are required in the morning rush hour for the five trolleybus routes. Two of the six runs on route 5 are covered by buses. These buses serve the section to Les Courrières, which is not provided with overhead. Buses also provide the two rush hour extras on route 6 in the morning. For all-day service, six vehicles are required on route 6 as well as routes 1 and 4; only route 2 requires seven vehicles. Overall 29 trolleybuses are needed. If more than two trolleybuses are unavailable, buses have to help out. For example on 5.6.2013 two buses operated on route 2 and another on route 6 while trolleybuses 113, 114, 115, 127 and 901 were in the workshop or depot. SwissTrolleys operate on certain runs on route 4. From about 9 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays other route links are covered at 30-minute intervals by buses. The holiday timetable in effect from 6.7.2013 to 1.9.2013 provides for a reduction of frequencies on routes 1, 2, 4, and 5 to every 15 minutes (instead of the normal 10-12 minute frequencies) while route 6 only runs every 17 minutes. As route 4 only needs four vehicles exclusive use of articulated trolleybuses is possible. Since route 5 only runs every hour to Les Courrières (Moulin Blanc), the extra run can be reduced to one bus, while trolleybuses can operate the remaining three runs.

Translation: Martin Wright

Photos:
Top: SwissTrolley 902 is re-wiring at the last stop, Montjovis, on the redesigned Av. du Parc. The construction cranes for the expansion of the stadium are visible in the background.
Photographer : J. Lehmann, 5.6.13
Below: At the UITP trolley Working Group in Limoges, the project participants Directeur Général Jean-Bernard Feltmann of the Société des Transports en Commun de Limoges (TCL), the senior project manager Erik Lenz and the sales manager Stefano Corona Vossloh Kiepe and Christian Suty from HESS. Source: Vossloh Kiepe


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