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City-News Archive

Seattle [US] - First articulated units in revenue service

K. Budach - 11.07.16

Since January 2016, the modern, articulated trolleybuses supplied by New Flyer have been in revenue service. These type Excelsior XT60 have supplemented the new low floor single units, which have been in service since August 2015. Initially, 86 single units and 55 articulated trolleys were ordered, but in June 2015 the procurement was increased to include 110 single and 64 articulated trolleybuses. The singles are 12.24 m long (40 feet), while the articulated trolleys measure 18.29 m (60 feet). The electrical equipment has been supplied by Vossloh-Kiepe, the traction motor by Skoda and the lithium ion phosphate battery (LiFeP04) by Paragon. All new trolleys are expected to be in revenue service by 2017. The New Flyer fleet will eventually replace the modified Duo type buses, which were assembled in 2008/2009 from the older Breda units. These had previously been procured in 1990/91 for use in the city tunnel, which since then has been converted to light rail.

Presently, construction work is underway on the electrification of line 48, which will also make use of the existing power lines on parts of its route. Once line 48 has been converted to trolleybus operations, the modal split in favor of electric public transport will have received a significant boost. On less busy routes without overhead wires, battery buses will be deployed. These will be of the new Catalyst type and are being supplied by Proterra. Once in service, they are expected to have an operational range of 26 miles, before requiring less than 10 minutes to fully recharge at special, rapid charging stations.11 Catalyst pre-series buses will initially be supplied and tested during a whole year, before a procurement decision is made on contractual options for up to 200 such vehicles. The use of the Catalyst battery buses will initially allow the removal of diesel units from lines 226 and 241.

On 13 June 2016, the new articulated trolleybus 4526 is seen in regular service along line 7. Photo: Zack Heistand

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