Riga [LV] - Delivery of the first 25 Solaris/Skoda 27Tr
J. Lehmann - 23.02.15
Just before Christmas, Skoda delivered to Riga the 25th articulated trolleybus of the year. All of the units that arrived in the city between 15 October and 21 December 2014 were numbered as 2710 - 2734, including the placement of a fifth control number. As of late 2014, the municipal trolleybus fleet in the Latvian capital consisted of 275 units, as officially none of the older buses had yet been formally withdrawn. Since then, the last four Belkommunmash BKM 333 buses and some 25-year old Skoda 15Tr units have been retired.
Previously, a total of 11 low-floor, articulated BKM 333 trolleys were in regular service. Following the introduction of a prototype in 1999, 10 more series vehicles followed in 2001. All of these Belarus-built buses featured electrical equipment supplied by the German company Kiepe. Following a fire, Nr. 704 was the first to be withdrawn in 2004. In 2010 the prototype Nr. 700 was taken out of service, and successive units followed in 2011. As of autumn 2014, only 701, 703, 706 and 709 were still in use.
Top: On 15 February 2015, the new Solaris/Skoda 27Tr articulated trolley 2725 is seen in revenue service on line 23, while passing over the Zemitāna bridge. Photo: Kristian Grambergs
Bottom: The last 4 Belkommunmash BKM 333 were retired in early 2015. On 13 September 2014, unit 2703 is still seen in use on line 12. Photo: J. Lehmann