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City-News Archive

Valparaiso [CL] - More Luzern trolleys arrive

K. Budach - 04.09.17

The first four of eight NAW/Hess single units from Luzern arrived in Chile on 28 August 2017 at the port of San Antonio. The cascaded Swiss trolleybuses with the former Luzern numbers 261, 263, 274 and 279 were then moved a day later by truck to Valparaiso, some 90 km away. In Valparaiso, the vehicles will make regular use of their diesel back-up drive, when transiting between the electrified trolleybus network and the depot at Av. Colón. The remaining four Luzern trolleys are expected to arrive with a second shipment in October. After a one month trial period, all of these pre-used buses are then expected to enter revenue service.

The NAW/Hess units will replace the even older Swiss-built trolleybuses in Valparaiso, some of which are over 50 years old. All of those have now been withdrawn and three were recently sold. The FBW articulated trolley 105 and the Berna bus 503 (formerly Geneve 607) have been mothballed along Avenida España. As of August 2017, the last Swiss-built Berna single unit originally dating from 1966 and formerly operating as Nr. 203 in Schaffhausen, has also been retired. Previous plans gave consideration to keeping it in regular service, alongside the partially modernized American Pullman trolleys and the 10 previously imported NAW buses from Luzern, which have been running in Valparaiso since 2014 and have retained their old Luzern numbers 265, 266, 268, 269, 270, 272, 273, 275, 276 and 278.

Top: While using its back-up diesel motor, the former Luzern trolley Nr. 279 passes the Iglesia Corazón de María church.
Middle: The trolleybus depot at Av. Colón with various former Luzern trolleys, including Nr. 261.
Bottom: The last old Swiss single unit leaves the depot in late August 2017, after having been withdrawn from revenue service. Pictures: Samuel Fuentes

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