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Bern [CH] - New Trolleybuses with Battery Drive from 2018

J. Lehmann - 05.08.13


From 15.04.13 to 15.09.2013 Marktgasse is being completely renovated between the station and the clock tower. The tram and trolleybus routes have been cut in half, as Marktgasse has been completely cordoned off in this area. Route 12 is being operated separately, with trolleybuses on the section from the station to Längsgasse with buses from Perron K on Christoffelgasse via Bundesplatz to the Paul Klee Centre.

With effect from 15.09.2013 the trams should be back on track on Marktgasse, as should trolleybus route 12. Since more tram lines are expected to run via Marktgasse as part of further expansion of the tram network, consideration is being given to re-routing trolleybus route 12 via Amthaus-, Schauplatz- or via. Bundes- und Kochergasse, as some bus routes already do. But overhead wiring is not seen as acceptable on Bundesplatz or in front of the Bundeshaus (Federal Parliament Building). Route 12 will continue to be served by trolleybuses, the municipal transport company, Bernmobil, does not want to simply replace them with gas or diesel buses. In anticipation of the fleet renewal from 2018, Bernmobil is planning to purchase trolleybuses equipped with batteries. These should be capable of operating without overhead on at least the stretch passing the Bundeshaus (Federal Parliament Building). Operation without overhead between the Bahnhofsplatz and Nydeggbrücke would however be desirable.
The director of Bernmobil, Rene Smith, announced to the local press that all 20 of the city trolleybuses are to be replaced by new vehicles by 2021. There is interest in obtaining double articulated vehicles, and there is a request for an exchange of information with Zurich about their experience. Another idea is to connect the section of trolleybus route from Längsgasse (route 12, with a 3-minute frequency in the peak) to Wankdorf station (route 20 with a 4-minute frequency in the peak with extras to Wyleregg). Conversion of this link to tram is also being considered.

In Bern, as in Basel, there is a move away from gas buses. There is no intention to order more gas buses, according to an article in the local press on 15.07.2013. In Basel, the intention is to replace the gas buses dating from 2008 with diesel buses, according to an article in the local press of 15:04:13. From Monday, 8 July 2013 until next Sunday the holiday timrtable applies. The base frequencies of the trolleybus routes remain unchanged, but the rush hour trips on trolleybus routes 12 and 20 have been reduced.

Translation: Martin Wright

Photo:
Since 1941 trolleybus route 12 has run quietly through Bern's Old Town via Kram- Gerechtigkeits- and Nydeggasse without the overhead wiring ever causing a nuisance. Here is trolleybus 49 in VST-orange on 24.12.1984. Photographer: J. Lehmann


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