Plzen [CZ] - 8 new battery trolleys in service
J. Lehmann - 30.10.17
Between late August and mid October 2017, the second series of 8 Solaris/Skoda 26Tr trolleybuses with traction batteries entered revenue service in Plzen. These vehicles have been numbered as 572-580 and replace 8 older Skoda 21Tr built between 2001 and 2003. Of the 18 originally delivered Skoda 21Tr with auxiliary diesel drives, only 6 are still in service. Specifically, these are: 488-490, 492, 493 and 496.
With the 8 new units, a total of 15 battery trolleys are now in use in the city. They are deployed on the partially non-electrified lines 12 and 13, where previously older trolleybuses operated in off-wire diesel mode.
In early September 2017, the local public transport operator DMDP also published a tender for 17 new articulated battery trolleys. The plan is to use these modern vehicles on routes presently run by diesel buses, thus boosting the local modal shift in favor of electric traction and thereby enhancing environmentally-friendly operations. Additionally, the extension of one trolleybus line with new catenary to the university clinic in the Lochotín district and the lengthening of one tram line to Borska Pole have also been approved by the city council.
Top: Following the conclusion of extensive road works, trolleybuses have been running on line 12 to the neighboring town of Letkov since late September 2017. On this picture, trolley 567 has the poles down as it overcomes the gradient along Letkovská Street. Photo: Zdeněk Kresa
Bottom: In May 2017, Skoda 21Tr Nr. 480 is seen on trolleybus line 12 at the Lobezská Bridge. Since then, this vehicle has been withdrawn. At the time, line 12 was diverted due to extensive road and light rail reconstruction around the city's main station. Photo: J. Lehmann
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