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Beijing [CN] - First BRT lines converted to trolleybus operation

K. Budach - 20.04.15

On 15 January 2015, the opening of the first of two new trolleybus lines took place without much fanfare. The 23 km long route has been built according to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) standards and is presently the longest trolleybus line in China. On several sections, the new BRT alignment shares the catenary with the existing trolley lines 104, 108, 124 and 127. For much of the way there is a segregated bus lane, allowing the BRT system to reach its full potential and exploit its operational advantages. Initially, services had to commence with just five articulated trolleybuses, but gradually more units are expected to enter service and then replace the supplementary diesel buses that have been deployed as a temporary stop-gap measure.

The new BRT route may be described as having a primarily sub-urban character. It runs from the bus interchange Andingmen as far as Hong-fu-yuan on the periphery of the city. For some part of the way, an existing bus line runs parallel to the BRT corridor. It too is slated for electrification and already now features a partially segregated right of way. Eventually this line should terminate at Tian-tong-yuan. Another part of the bus rapid transit network has been designated as BRT3 Short. It branches off from the main BRT3 corridor and requires the buses to use their battery mode in order to reach the Wen-du-shui-cheng terminus.

The electrified BRT system uses specially designed, articulated trolleybuses supplied by YoungMAN. Their design is similar to the units which were delivered to Riad by the now defunct German producer Viseon. The roll-out of the YoungMAN vehicles for Beijing is presently in full swing, although the final numbers of the production run are not yet known.

Because construction of BRT3 was completed very promptly, works have already started on BRT1. As a special feature, this route will see the installation and use of center platforms, thereby requiring the specially procured trolleys to have entry doors on the left-hand side.

One of the articulated YoungMAN trolleybuses is seen in revenue service on the new BRT3 line, near the bus interchange Andigmen. Photo: Mu Qing

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