Seattle [US] - Newest trolleybuses on trials
K. Budach - 08.12.14
On 8 October 2014, the first of 141 new trolleybuses arrived in Seattle. The single unit was built by New Flyer with electric equipment from Vossloh Kiepe USA. In the mean time, the second bus of the series has also arrived in the Pacific Northwest. These two prototypes have been numbered as 4300 and 4301. A total of 86 single units of the Excelsior XT40 type as well as 55 articulated trolleys of the XT 60 model are on order. All will be fitted with battery packs for auxiliary power. There are contractual options for more vehicles.
As previously reported, services on the Seattle network have been reshuffled as a result of a financial austerity program, which was decided by voters several months ago. Since September 2014, the trolleybus line 47 has therefore been discontinued. Further service cuts were originally going to happen in February 2015, but their implementation has now been suspended.
Unfazed by the ongoing political discourse, the Seattle Department of Transportation is advocating the construction of a new, fully electrified BRT corridor along Madison Street. This infrastructure asset would cost 87 million USD and is seen as a less expensive alternative to a possible light rail line. An initial report on these findings was presented by the department in November 2014, although it is unlikely that there will be a political decision anytime soon.
(Translation: Andrew Thompson)
The new trolleybus 4301 is seen during trials on the Seattle network. Photo: Vossloh Kiepe/Klaus Peter Canavan
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