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Mendoza [AR] - Mothballed Flyers forced into service

K. Budach - 12.01.15


Of the 66 Flyer trolleybuses which were cascaded from Vancouver to Mendoza in 2008/2009, 5 units (59, 60, 61, 65, 66) never actually entered revenue service there, while an additional 14 vehicles were mothballed and foreseen as spare parts donors. For most of their time in Argentina, these buses therefore sat idle at a storage yard outside of Mendoza.

During the past five years, numerous initially operational Flyers had to be taken out of service, due to irreparable damages. In order to stabilize the trolleybus timetable and ensure operational reliability, 14 new low-floor trolleys were procured from the domestic producer Materfer. The first six of these, numbered as 401-406, have already entered revenue service, running primarily on the ring line 1 Parque. An additional two have been delivered from the factory and are presently awaiting authorization. As these new trolleys are still not plentiful enough to cover for the withdrawn Flyers, the municipal operator EPTM has been forced to reactivate several of the stored trolleys from Vancouver. All five of the previously overhauled but in-active buses (59, 60, 61, 65, 66) have thus been pressed into service, as well as three of the designated spare part donors. Two of these are still running in the original Canadian livery, while one is seen in the orange paint scheme that has also been applied to the new Materfer units.

About 40 Flyer trolleybuses are therefore operational. Normally they are deployed on lines 1 to 5. Line 6, which normally serves the university, is temporarily out of use, due to road works.

(Translation: Andrew Thompson)

Images:
Top: At the Calle Peru depot, the Materfer trolleybus Nr. 404 is seen overtaking the identical Nr. 402.
Middle: The newly marked up Nr. 3 is one of those Flyer trolleybuses that was mothballed for many years and now runs through the streets of Mendoza sporting its original Canadian livery.
Bottom: Nr. 6 was previously designated as a spare parts donor but in the mean time has been deployed in revenue service. It sports the modern orange color scheme of EPTM. Photos: Samuel Fuentes





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