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Brno [CZ] - First prototype of 30 new trolleybuses on trials

K. Budach - 30.03.15

The first new Skoda Electric type 31Tr articulated trolley using an SOR-built bus body recently completed trials on the municipal network in Plzen. The vehicle is the first of a series of 30 trolleybuses destined for the Czech RepublicÂ’s second largest city Brno. The order for the lot was placed after a long tender process in July 2014. At present, delivery of the prototype to Brno is expected to take place in April. Following further trials there, the series roll-out will then commence.

As of now, the Skoda 21Tr units 3044-3060, which were taken over second-hand from Jihlava, Hradec Kralove and Ceske Budejovice between 2011 and 2014, are all in service in Brno, with the exception of 3059. In October 2014, units 3051, 3056 and 3058 entered traffic, with 3053 and 3055 following in December, plus 3054, 3057 and 3060 in February 2015. The trolleys 48 (built in 1999, formerly used in Jihlava) and 36 (1998, Hradec Kralove) have been designated as spare parts donors.

These cascaded 21Tr units have allowed the local operator DPMB to rejuvenate the fleet and therefore withdraw numerous older type 14Tr buses during 2014. The trolleys 3228, 3243 and 3227 are now used as works vehicles, while the 8 units 3219, 3229, 3238, 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265 and 3266 have been mothballed.

Due to road works, the Brno trolleybus lines 35 and 39 have been diverted since early 2015 and had to be provisionally switched to diesel operation. The interruption is expected to last until November 2015. As of the most recent timetable change in December 2014, these two lines as well as the parallel route 38 have been boosted from a 20 to a 15-minute service frequency; during peak hours even to a 7.5 minute interval.

(Translation: Andrew Thompson)

The new Skoda/SOR articulated prototype destined for the Czech Republic's largest trolleybus network in Brno, is seen on trials in Plzen. Photo: Zdeněk Kresa

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