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City-News Archive

Beijing [CN] - Route 116 now electric

J. Lehmann - 03.11.14

On 31 October 2014, line 116 was converted to trolleybus/battery bus operation. This new trolley line now runs for about 6 km from Hongqiao (Red Bridge) to Beixinqiao (New North Bridge). The buses of line 116 thereby make use of the pre-existing catenary of line 106, which means that only new power lines had to be fitted at the Long-tan Park terminus, in order to charge the lithium-ion batteries.

As part of the new operations pattern, line 116 runs on batteries from Long-tan Park for about 1.5 km to Hongqiao, before switching to catenary use there. After running for 2.4 km under the wires, the bus reverts to battery operation at the intersection with Chang’an Ave. After another 3.7 km, line 116 branches off from line 106 and then continues for 3 km without catenary to the terminus Liu-fang station. This bus stop also features a short bit of catenary, in order to allow re-charging of the batteries. These power lines did not have to be newly fitted, as they had already been installed in late 2013 as part of the electrification of line 127.

There are specific plans in Beijing to convert more bus lines to electric operation during the next three years. Specifically lines 3, 6, 22, 38, 42, 110, 113 and 117 as well as a few BRT services are slated for electrification. Along several BRT lines, new catenary masts have already been mounted during the past few months. The ambition is to operate 65% of all road-based public transport with electric vehicles by 2017. Presently the bus builder Foton has been conducting trials with a new 18 m long articulated unit. The vehicle features an electric portal axle of the AVE 130 type, which has been supplied by the German company ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

(Translation: Andrew Thompson)

On line 116, type BJD-WG120F trolleybuses are now used. These are equipped with a lithium-ion battery that has a range of up to 15 km. Bus 95628 is seen here during the first day of operations on the line. Photo: Mu Qing (

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