Cluj-Napoca/Klausenburg [RO] - 10 new articulated trolleybuses help modernize local fleet
J. Lehmann - 03.11.14
10 new articulated trolleybuses delivered by the consortium of Astra (electric equipment) and Irisbus (bus bodies) have helped modernize the municipal public transport fleet. The vehicles each cost 1.9 million Lei (about 430 000 Euros) and were delivered between November 2013 and January 2014. They have been successively numbered as 187 196.
With the acquisition of these 18 m long Astra Citelis, the Cluj fleet now consists of 64 fully or partially low-floor trolleybuses. The earlier series of modern buses were procured in 2004/2005 as well as 2010/11 respectively. 15 articulated diesel buses were already previously converted to electric propulsion. Simultaneously the number of operational 25-yeard old ROCAR trolleybuses has been reduced to 25 units; 14 of these are articulated and all 25 are slated for withdrawal and replacement during the coming few years. As a somewhat distinct yet limiting feature, all of the Cluj trolleybuses are not fitted with any kind of auxiliary drives and thus can only operate under catenary.
Of the total fleet of 89 trolleybuses, 70 units are needed to run peak hour services on the citys 7 different trolleybus lines 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 25. Network extensions to the neighboring towns of Sânnicoară and Apahida (10 000 residents) to the east, as well as the commune of Florești (22 000 inhabitants) to the west, are planned for the coming few years. Presently the outlying areas are only served by diesel buses running at 30-minute intervals. Indeed the local operator CTP (until 2013 RATUC) operates more than 40 different diesel bus routes, mainly using 40 pre-used vehicles which were imported from France in 2010/2011. Presently 40 modern low-floor articulated diesel buses are also on order from Solaris Bus & Coach in Poland and the first units are expected be delivered by late 2014. These will help replace some even older second-hand French buses, which were acquired between 1992 and 1994. Most of these type Renault Saviem SC 10R diesel units are actually over 30 years old and date from the early 1980s. Aside from the electric trolleybus lines, the public transport network in Cluj also benefits from one major tram route.
In late 2012, trolleybus 033 collided with a tramway at the Strada Plopilor traffic rotary. Due to the collision, the front-end of this originally converted diesel bus was completely damaged and therefore replacement parts were sourced from France in the form of another pre-used Irsibus Agora. Presently this heavily modified trolleybus is being rebuilt at the CTP workshop and should return to trolley service, once complete.
(Translation: Andrew Thompson)
One of the new articulated trolleys is seen running along Bulevardul 21 Decembrie 1989 while allocated to services on line 25. Notice the dedicated east-bound bus lane, while the three west-bound paths are open to all traffic on the road. Photo: J. Lehmann, 29.09.2014
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