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City-News Archive

Chieti [IT] - Fully Electric Again

J. Lehmann - 08.07.13

Since 1 July 2013, trolleybuses have been in service on the whole of route 1, with five trolleybuses providing a 15-minute frequency. In preference the service is provided by the five new Van Hool A 330T low-floor trolleybuses that were presented on Wednesday, 26.03.2013 in the upper town in front of the Cathedral of San Giustino. Here the pastor of the Cathedral blessed the five trolleybuses, which had been positioned in the square using their auxiliary engines. Before the ceremony, trolleybus 302 had brought the Mayor and other guests up from the railway station.
The first of the five trolleybuses was delivered almost a year ago in July 2012. The other four followed by the autumn of 2012, but they had to wait a long time for their official acceptance and approval. Extensive tests were performed on the 9.6 km long route from the cemetery of St. Anna in the upper town to the hospital. In addition to the five low-floor trolleybuses, there are still seven Menarini trolleybuses dating from 1985 in the fleet - these have been completely overhauled in recent years. They were in service on the trolleybus route from 1986 to December 1992, before the operation was closed because of the bad condition of the overhead contact line. But just six years later, the city council took the decision to resume operation. The overhead was completely overhauled and extended and trolleybuses operated again from 26.9.2009 but only as rush hour extras in the morning as the extended route still had not received official approval. For various reasons, the use of trolley buses was discontinued a few months later. Official acceptance of the overhead extension was finally received in the spring of 2013, and finally resumption of operations was announced on 15.04.2013. However, only the older high-floor trolleybuses were used, again as rush hour extras in the morning.

Now the five Van Hool trolleybuses, which weigh 19 tonnes and are 12 m long, 3.65 m high and 2.50 m wide, have also received type approval and can be used on route 1. They have a passenger capacity of 80 with 22 seats available. The trolleybuses have air conditioning and a wheelchair ramp. In contrast to the previous vehicles, these trolleybuses have a diesel engine, which enables movement in the event of a sudden power outage. A total of € 3.2 million in regional and municipal funds was invested in the new operation, in addition there were contributions from state funding projects for the reconstruction of the overhead contact line.

At the launch of the five new trolleybuses, the mayor pointed out proudly that the original trolleybus service was first presented 63 years previously on the 16th July 1950. Trolleybus operation then began on 1st August.1950. There were up to eleven small Fiat trolleybuses (acquired new in 1950, 1952 and 1955, as well as used from Genoa in 1959 and 1963). The fleet reached eleven vehicles during the first 35 years of operation. In 1986 ten Menarini trolleybuses replaced the original fleet.

Translation: Martin Wright

Trolleybuses 303 and 305 in the square in front of the Cathedral of San Giustino on 26.06.2013. Source:

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