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San Francisco [US] - First New Flyer articulated trolleybus has arrived

K. Budach - 23.03.15


In early March the first of 60 new articulated trolleybuses arrived in San Francisco. Designated as type XT 60' Xcelsior™, the prototype will complete extensive trials on the urban network during the coming weeks and months. Once these have been successfully completed, the series roll-out will commence. The Canadian bus builder New Flyer Industries Inc is the supplier of the mechanical components, while the German company Vossloh Kiepe has produced the electric traction equipment for the new trolleys. All units will be fitted with a powerful battery, in order to extend their range off the electrified network. Initial trials have shown that the prototype unit 7201 has already been capable of running 8 km off catenary, using about 70% of a battery charge in the process.

The prototype is a part of the joint order that the public transport operators in San Francisco and Seattle placed with New Flyer. Aside from the purchase of 60 articulated trolleybuses, San Francisco also has options for the acquisition of additional single or double units. Eventually these more modern low-floor vehicles will need to replace all of the older high floor buses, which presently still form 100% of the MUNI fleet in the Bay Area. Following the withdrawal of the 60 articulated Flyers dating from 1992-1994, the MUNI fleet still consists of 260 ETI/Skoda single trolleybuses (Nr. 5401-5640, delivered 2001-2003) and 33 articulated ETI/Skoda trolleys (Nr. 7101-713, 2002-2003).
The San Francisco/Seattle joint procurement already includes firm orders for 141 single and articulated units of the XT 40' Xcelsior™ type. If all contract options are eventually taken up, a total of 530 vehicles will be delivered.

(Translation: Andrew Thompson)

Image:
The first new XT 60' Xcelsior™ articulated trolleybus is seen at the Ocean Beach terminus, during trials on lines 5 and 31. Photo: Vossloh Kiepe





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