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City-News Archive

Kaluga [RU] - New Trolleybuses from VMZ and BKM

J. Lehmann - 06.05.13

After receiving approval, the two new VMZ 5298.01 "Avangard" trolleybuses (numbers 150 and 151) were able to operate in regular service for the first time on 27.03.2013. According to the Daily Press of 26/03/2013 this took place in conjunction with a ceremony . The two vehicles were delivered in January 2013, but due to the lack of a certificate, they were not approved. Because of the long delay, the system wanted to send the trolleybuses back to Vologda, but then the manufacturer was able to provide the all necessary documentation after all. Shortly after its first operation on routes 5 and 10, trolleybus 150 suffered an accident, as reported in the Daily Press on 28.03.2013.
In February 2013 the city council approved an increase in the share capital of "Kaluga Trolley" to 70 million roubles to enable the purchase of additional low-floor trolleybuses and another 21.8 million roubles has been provided as co-financing. 20 new BKM 321 trolleybuses type have been ordered from the Belarusian company "Belkommunmash". The first vehicles were delivered in mid-April 2013, and entered regular service from 30.04.2013 under the fleet numbers 152-161. The remaining ten units are expected by June 2013.

Up to now there have been few withdrawals, only a few were made in 2012: ZIU 682 No. 421 from 1986 (completely overhauled in 2001 with new body), No 426 built 1987 and No. 443 from 1989. Apart from 15 TrolZa-5275.03 "Optima" acquired in 2011 and the new low-floor trolleybuses, the fleet consists solely of ZIU 682, the majority of which (approximately 50 units) were procured 1990 to 1994. Overall, the fleet consists of about 120 trolleybuses, with which 14 lines are served.

The latest route change was the extension of route 18, which was first opened in 2008 and reached the neighbourhoods south of the river Oka for the first time and from 09.11.2011 was linked with route 4. The newly extended route 18 is about 22 km in length and needs up to 13 trolley buses. It offers a 7-minute interval service in the rush hour. It is thus one of the most heavily used routes, only routes 1 and 8 have a higher frequency with a 6-minute service.

Translation: Martin Wright

Top: 151, a VMZ 5298.01 "Avangard" has been in service since 27.03.13 on trolleybus route 10
Photographer : Evgeniy Aleksandrovich
Below: First sighting of trolleybus 152 was on 30/04/2013 in the network.
Photographer : Andrew (see 40RUS

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