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Luzern [CH] - Overhead Construction to Büttenen Nearly Complete

J. Lehmann - 26.08.13

In the summer months Kummler & Matter quickly hung the overhead for the 2.5 km extension of trolleybus route 6 to Büttenen. The switch and crossing at Bruelstraße are already installed, only the entry switch is still missing. As planned, the 143 masts were erected from February 2013 (see also the documentation on the website of the VBL). The widening by one meter of Kreuzbuchstrasse on the section from Giselistrasse to the turning to Oberseeburg also took place in the spring as planned, so that the completion of the work can take place in September. Test and training journeys will be made after acceptance of the overhead system and commencement of service is expected on 15.12.2013. According to the draft published in the spring of 2013 , the future route 6 will use articulated trolleybuses and operate from Matthof to Büttenen every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes off-peak. The requirement is for six runs in the morning peak, four runs from 9 am to 1pm and seven runs in the afternoon peak. The higher number of runs in the afternoon is due to the longer journey time. Towards Büttenen 24 minutes is needed instead of 22 minutes and in the opposite direction 27 minutes are needed instead of 24 minutes.

According to the draft plan, trolleybus route 4 will also receive a new timetable. In future it will run at 10-minute intervals with three articulated trolleybuses. An early change for route 4 is possible because trolleybus route 2 is being served by buses during the reconstruction of the roundabout at Seetalplatz, which will take three years. Reconstruction of the streets in Reussbühl begins in the second half of 2013. A new large multi-lane roundabout and a bypass road for Reussbühl are being built for about CHF 151 million - borrowing of this amount was approved last year in a referendum. The construction project includes a new separate alignment for public transport, which passes Emmenbrücke station, near to which a bus station is planned. Before the start of construction, a flyer was issued, see the link to the web page of the municipality of Emmen.

In order to achieve better schedule adherence during peak periods more bus lanes are to be set up. The bus lane in Pilatusstrasse is being extended from the junction with Morgartenstrasse to the station. Because many cars turn here into the station forecourt, there are often long traffic queues. From now on individual cars will only be able to reach the station forecourt via Moosstrasse, Bundesplatz and Zentralstrasse. This stretch is being widened, cyclists get a direct connection from Neustadtstrasse to Hirschmatt without going via Bundesplatz.

The 25-year old two-axle trolleybuses are now gradually reaching a maturity of more than one million km. Nos. 261 and 263 were the first "kilometre millionaires" at the end of 2012 and in 2013 these were followed by an additional 12 vehicles from the 25 remaining units. In their nearly 25 years of service only no.252 as the driving school bus and no. 280 as the de-icer, have done about half the mileage of the other two-axle trolleybuses.

Along with the 12m-long Volvo diesel hybrid buses, the first Volvo articulated bus with hybrid drive, which complies with the Euro 6 limits, was presented on 8.7.13 to the public at the road traffic days in the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (Swiss Transport Museum). The vehicle has been given the number 162 and is operating for one year on all bus routes. Since 2011, six two-axle hybrid buses have been in use, which have shown a fuel saving of up to 30%. To cater for the temporary conversion of route 2 to buses and capacity increases to other bus routes 13 articulated buses have been ordered from Evobus (Switzerland) AG, Kloten for delivery at the turn of the year 2013/14. 35 Citaro articulated buses are already in operation with the VBL, they were acquired between 2002 and 2009.
Construction of the nine double articulated trolleybuses ordered from Hess is intended to begin in October 2013, with delivery of the first vehicle to Luzern scheduled for June 2014.

Translation: Martin Wright

Photos : The new branch line 6 to Büttenen, above Swisstrolley 209 coming from Würzenbach turns into Kreuzbuchstrasse while below trolleybus 263, the first kilometre millionaire with trailer 313, turns into Würzenbachstrasse. It is good to see the brand new overhead still brightly copper coloured!
Photographer : Jürgen Lehmann 22/08/2013

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