St. Gallen [CH] - Battery trial phase extended
J. Lehmann - 17.11.14
As previously reported, the auxiliary diesel motor on SwissTrolley 176 was replaced with a battery pack in early 2014. Since then, extensive trials have been conducted with the bus in battery mode. The unit has been used on all lines and in operational practice de-wires a stop before the railway station, while re-wiring one later. Special hoppers have been fitted at the four calling points Poststrasse (line 1 and 3), St. Leonhard (line 1), Blumenberg and Bleicheli (line 5).
An analysis of the initial test results was previously announced for fall 2014, but in order to collect additional performance data and gain more operational experience during the winter months, the trial phase has now been extended to cover the cold time of the year. Although it is expected that the de-wiring and re-wiring processes theoretically should work just as well in winter, measuring the length of time for this maneuver and observing the interaction between cold or frozen catenary and trolley pole is important for final test phase considerations. Further operational practice and driver familiarity with the process is desired, in order to improve the success quota and decrease the chances of derailing.
In August 2015, comprehensive reconstruction of the station square will bring disruption to most bus services in St. Gallen. The boarding points and platforms for all trolleybus lines will need to be moved to St. Leonhardstrasse. Therefore lines 1 and 4 wont be able to call at Poststrasse during that time. The new timetable for 2015 otherwise does not feature any changes regarding the local trolleybus network. The modified double-articulated trolley 155 will remain in service and continue to run on lines 1 and 4. In the mean time, periodic maintenance for the 5-year old SwissTrolleys has included the rectification of minor corrosion damage and the replacement of protective undercarriage floorboards. A part of this work has been completed by external contractors, such as Tüscher in Dällikon. In October 2014, the Zürich-based specialist Autohilfe was tasked with returning SwissTrolley 172 from Dällikon to St. Gallen.
(Translation: Andrew Thompson)
The battery-fitted SwissTrolley 176 is seen on 4 July 2014 in front of the St. Gallen railway station. Running in battery mode on line 3, the bus is about to start its journey to the terminus Heiligkreuz. Photo: J. Lehmann
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