Malatya [TR] - Launch with problems
J. Lehmann - 30.03.15
After the 10 double-articulated trolleybuses were ceremoniously presented on 10 March 2015 at the new depot and an inaugural ride took place with Mayor Ahmet Cakir at the wheel, regular services started at 7:00 on 11 March. For the first four days and until Sunday 15 March, all passengers were permitted to use the new electric bus network free of charge. This offer was met with considerable interest from the local population.
Due to a technical fault with the onboard electronics, bus 4407 caught fire on Sunday 15 March at 22:26, while calling at the İnönü university stop. Following this adverse development, operations with all buses were temporarily ceased in order to examine the entire fleet and prevent a similar recurrence.
On 20 March, revenue services recommenced, with the free trial period getting extended until 30 March. Since that date all passengers must purchase a ticket, without which access to the trolleybus stops is not even possible.
Presently the network features 38 km of overhead power lines supported by 1523 masts. The catenary reaches from the university campus 5 km east of the city center to the terminus MASTI at the other end of the line, which is located near a regional bus interchange and the operational headquarters of the public transport company MOTAS. The new trolleybus depot of the Trambüs branded system is also situated there. While future extensions are possible, the present network features 53 calling points.
The entire Trambüs system for the city of Malatya was designed and delivered by the German-Turkish company Bosankaya as a turn-key product. Based in Salzgitter, Germany and Ankara, Turkey, Bosankaya built the bus bodies itself and then used a number of different sub-contractors, including a local construction company for completing the trolleybus depot. While Vossloh Kiepe delivered the electric traction equipment for the vehicles, Kummler + Matter supplied all of the specialized equipment for the catenary. The substations that provide electricity to the trolley lines are from ABB.
As of now, revenue services are only running between the city center and the university.
Top: One day before the launch of regular services, the last trial runs were completed with various different vehicles, including bus 4407, which caught fire just 4 days later. Photo: Mattis Schindler
Bottom: The public is out in full force and takes much interest during the launch ceremony at the new trolley depot on 10 March 2015. Photo: MOTAS
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