Szeged [HU] - New articulated trolleys operate in battery mode
J. Lehmann - 31.08.15
After a technical fault with the isolation equipment was discovered on one of the 13 Ikarus/Skoda trolleybuses, the entire fleet was preventively taken out of traffic on 24 April 2015. As part of guarantee services on the vehicles, extensive examinations and ensuing rectification works were then made in May. By mid June the modern fleet was ready to return to revenue service.
Because of summer maintenance works on the local tram tracks from mid June to late August, the trolleybus routes 8 and 10 also had to be diverted. As the catenary was out of use between Anna kút and the hospital terminus, all 13 of the Ikarus/Skoda buses were allocated to run the replacement services, allowing them to make best use of their auxiliary battery power.
Due to additional road works in late summer, the hospital terminus was actually completely inaccessible during most of August. Correspondingly, the Ikarus/Skoda units once again operated in battery mode, usually covering about 2.5 km off wires, far less than their 7 km capacity limit. Even during the summer heatwave with temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius and the air-conditioning systems on the buses working full force, the battery packs proved their value, working reliably and without any kind of significant problems.
The 9-week period of intensive battery operations is thus seen as a resounding success and has generally demonstrated how diversions are not a problem for modern trolleybuses with powerful back-up systems.
Concurrently, all catenary switches on the Szeged network have been modernized, allowing remote, radio-controlled operations with the Vetra system supplied by the Czech company Elektroline. The last three switches on the city circuit were replaced during August and merely in the depot some of the old devices were still left in place.
Of the 27 Skoda 15Tr articulated trolleys (T-600-626), only 2 units (T-611 and 617) have been mothballed. Because no other new vehicles have been introduced, none have been withdrawn either. T-800 remains in rebuild. Also the fleet of non-articulated Skoda 21Tr single units has remained unchanged with T-800 and 811 still undergoing refurbishment. No other Skoda type 21Ab diesel buses have been converted to trolleys yet.
On 22 July, the Ikarus/Skoda unit T-450 is seen at the Bécsi körút terminus, while running in battery mode. Even despite of hot summer temperatures around 36 degrees Celsius, the aircon system is on and working reliably well. Photo: Zoltan Adam Nemeth
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