Valparaiso [CL] - First trolleybus from Luzern arrives
K. Budach - 30.06.14
The first of the two-axle trolleybuses acquired second-hand from Luzern arrived in Chile on 27 June at the port of San Antonio and reached Valparaiso the following day on a low-load truck. Bus 269 is one of ten units to have been sold by Luzerns municipal operator vbl to authorities in Valparaiso. It left the Swiss city on 9 May and was initially transported by road to Hamburg before being transferred onto a ship for the sea journey to South America.
The 12m long trolleybus is a part of the 251-280 series, which entered service in Luzern in 1988/89 and was withdrawn in late 2013, following the introduction of more low-floor articulated trolleys. Most recently, these NAW/Hess-R&J/Siemens-built buses had been used on line 4, paired with low-floor trailers. Their replacement in Luzern is now the new fleet of double-articulated trolleybuses. Given the excellent technical condition of the 10 buses sold to Chile, they are expected to operate in Valparaiso for many years to come. The cascaded trolleys will replace the last four articulated units that remain in active service in Valparaiso and which had also been acquired second-hand from Switzerland in the 1990s. Units 105 and 503 (built by the consortium of FBW/SWS/MFO) had previously operated in Zürich, whereas trolleys 99 and 617 (Berna/SWP/R&J/SAAS) came from Geneva. At present, these vintage trolleybuses are already 50 years old.
As the first of the Luzern units to reach its new destination, unit 269 will now complete comprehensive trials in Valparaiso. If everything goes according to plan, the remaining nine trolleys will be shipped to Chile in August. Previously, technicians from Valparaiso had already been dispatched to Luzern, in order to complete a know-how transfer and training program.
The first of the cascaded Luzern trolleys is seen on the streets of Valparaiso.
Photo: Samuel Fuentes (trolleybusvalparaiso.blogspot.com)