Marianske Lazne [CZ] - City council votes to retain trolleybus network
J. Lehmann - 11.04.16
On 22 March 2016, the local city council voted to retain the municipal trolleybus operation and approved applications for EU regional development funding to help maintain the system in the future. Just a few years ago, the same political body had voted to discontinue trolleybus services in favor of battery buses. After a trial phase with battery vehicles did not provide satisfactory results and technical experiences with similar e-buses in Prague and Berlin have also been discouraging, the council back-tracked on its original decision. In Prague, the electric bus is only used during rush hour, while in Berlin vehicle reliability for the new e-buses does not exceed 40%. Because such low performance margins would not have been sufficient for the entire Marianske Lazne bus operation and because the city did not wish to downgrade its trolleybus operation to diesel-only vehicles, a revised decision was made in favor of the trolleybuses. This was backed by the recommendations of an independent expertise. The existing fleet of trolleybuses will therefore be retrofitted with battery packs in order to traverse those parts of the network that are not fitted with catenary and previously have been served in diesel mode. Additional funding will be also sought for the much needed renewal of the existing power lines, with grants likely to come from the central government in Prague as well as EU coffers.
About half of the trolleybus fleet in the West Bohemian spa town of Marianske Lazne has been fitted with auxiliary diesel motors so as to run on line 7, which is only partially fitted with overhead wires. In May 2012, trolley Nr. 53 is seen running in "pan down" mode on that section of the network. Marianske Lazne features the smallest trolleybus network in the Czech Republic. Photo: J. Lehmann
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