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Zurich [CH] - Exercised for Two `Longos´

J. Lehmann - 29.07.13

At the end of July new SwissTrolleys4, nos.162-174 were in use. More were delivered before the production holiday at Hess (22.7.13 to 02.08.2013). Acceptance at the factory of the 18th and 19 Vehicle (179-180) is planned for 7.8.13, while for the last two trolleybuses (181, 182) the planned acceptance is for 21.08.13. Delivery usually follows one to two weeks later. Currently there are 15 Mercedes-Benz 405GTZ in use, the 46 articulated trolleybuses are used on the 33, 34, 46 and 72. At the end the summer holidays (15.07.13 till 18.08.2013) these four routes need up to 39 runs. Only after the timetable change in December 2013, at which point there will be an exchange of the termini of routes 33 and 72 as well as the all-day7 ½-minute frequency and introduction of the supplementary route 71, will one run less be required. For a 7 ½-minute all day frequency route 33 will require up to 12 runs and route 72 ten runs. The schedule planned for route 71 provides for three vehicles, thus up to 25 vehicles will be needed for the three routes in the future. Currently route 33 has up to 18 runs in the afternoon and route 72 has 8 runs, while route 46 needs nine vehicles and route 34 needs four. This results in a future vehicle requirement of 38 runs, compared with the present requirement for 39 trolleybuses. Since there are currently too few diesel articulated buses available as a reserve, some Mercedes-Benz trolleybuses will remain in use until 2014 even after delivery of the 21 new vehicles. Since April 2013 trolleybuses 102, 110, 111, 112, 118, 123 and 127 have been taken out of service. All vehicles were sent to a scrapyard after removal of spare parts. Only no. 102 was exempt from parts donation and put aside for possible donation to a museum.

Routes 31 and 32 should only be operated with double articulated trolley buses, but there are only 29 units available for the 28 runs in the afternoon. So articulated diesel buses operate on route 31, preferably on runs 2, 3 and 10. At their meeting on 22.05.2013, the City Council approved the purchase of two further double articulated trolleybuses. The contract with Hess signed on 24.08.2011 includes an option for ten such vehicles, as at that time only 12 vehicles were ordered. This number was deemed sufficient, as a shortening of route 31 was expected from the start of construction work on the Stadtplatz Schlieren and Limmattalbahn. Putting the terminal of route 31 at Altstetten or Farbhof would have saved three vehicles which would then have been used on route 32. The original proposal for conversion in 2014 of the square at Stadtplatz Schlieren has been postponed to 2017, to coincide with construction of the Limmattalbahn, so the exercise of the option was approved by the ZVV.
The two articulated vehicles, which are now at a price of 1.622 million Swiss Francs (approximately 1.3 million euros) will be largely identical to the series 78-89. Delivery is expected in the first half of 2014.
After the shortening of route 31 and replacement by a tram route, the double articulated trolleybuses will be used on other routes. Thus according to the program "Urban Transport 2025» City of Zurich (see link "More information") the electrification of lines 80 and 69 is planned for implemrntation by 2025.

Translation: Martin Wright

Top: On 23.07.2013 the youngest SwissTrolley4, no. 174, was photographed in use on route 33.
Below: The SwissTrolley4 Nos. 162-166 as Swisstrolley3 no. 161 can be equipped for driving school purposes with a driver-trainer seat. On 23.07.13 no. 162 was on the road as a driving school vehicle, seen here by a road construction site at Rotbuchstrasse.
Photographer: J. Lehmann

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