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Bergen [NO] - Extension of electric services evaluated

J. Lehmann - 19.06.17


Hordaland County Council has decided to continue funding the small trolleybus network in Bergen. Until at least 2020, the local operator Tide Buss AS will receive subsidies to cover the extra costs of the trolley service. Already in 2015 the County Council took on ownership of the trolleybus infrastructure, including power lines and rectifiers. Since then, structural maintenance has been delegated to the local tramway company LRT AS. Since 2015, the trolleys have also been running in the current red and white livery, which reflects the corporate identity of the regional transport authority Skyss. The red and white paint scheme was applied as part of a regular overhaul cycle.

In late 2016, a feasibility study was commissioned to evaluate the possibility of extending the trolleybus network to the city district Laksevåg. Presently lines 5 and 6 terminate there, offering a 10-minute headway, which is boosted to a 5-minute interval at peak times. The bus corridor runs along the urban expressway and through the Damsgårds tunnel, making the installation of new power lines in the tunnel seem unlikely. First results of the commissioned study are expected by summer 2017, with official decisions following later.

On the south side of the city, the 2.5 km long extension of the trolleybus line 2 from the present terminus Birkelundstoppen to Sædalen has also been evaluated through technical feasibility studies. This district has grown significantly since a large housing estate plus a school and sports complex opened during the past decade. These facilities generate considerable cross-town journeys from residents as well as students, with children from as far as Nattland commuting to attend the large school. Presently, the route between Sædalen and Birkelundstoppen is served by line 80, which offers a 10-minute headway during peak hours and a 30-minute interval during the rest of the day.

Generally, the acquisition of new vehicles is foreseen by 2020, as part of the re-tendering of bus services in the city center.

Following a fire caused by a defective auxiliary drive in November 2015, trolley 8196 has been completely rebuilt at the local workshop. The new auxiliary diesel drive was supplied by Iveco in mid 2016. Ever since one of the two long-time trolleybus mechanics retired in 2014, workshop productivity and output has slowed down considerably. Although younger mechanics are now being trained for trolleybus upkeep, their primary expertise remains for diesel vehicles.

Most recently, trolleys 8194 and 8195 were out of service and at the depot, with the former requiring an axle replacement and the latter needing repairs to its auxiliary drive.


Images:
Top: On 14 June 2017, trolleybus 8198 is seen at Nattlandsveien while running to Birkelundstoppen. In early June, this was one of only three local trolleys that was available for service on line 2. Normally, 8 vehicles are required to cover the entire circuit on this busy route.
Bottom: At the Birkelundstoppen terminus, the other two operational trolleybuses 8199 and 8197 are seen during their regularly scheduled layover. To the rear, the road tunnel to Sædalen is visible. An extension of trolleybus services to Sædalen is presently being studied. Photos: Jürgen Lehmann


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