Abakan [RU] - New low-floor battery trolleys enable network extension
J. Lehmann - 15.10.18
In early August 2018, the Russian company Transalpha delivered the first type VMZ-5298.01 low-floor trolleybus to Abakan. A total of 5 such vehicles have been ordered. The single units have auxiliary battery packs weighing almost 3 tons and allowing up to 20 km of off-wire range extension. The batteries are fitted near the rear axle. The total procurement expense for this mini-fleet is 58 million RUB. At current conversion rates that is roughly 750 000 EUR and thus equates to a per unit price of about 150 000 EUR. 50% of the procurement is being funded by the Republic of Khakassia, with the other half coming from city funds. Battery trolleys have been purchased because there was not enough funding in place to put up new power lines.
On 13 September 2018, revenue services commenced on the ring line 10. This route uses about 4.8 km of exiting catenary, before completing another 3.6 km off-wire while running along Torosova and Nekrasova Streets. Initially, two diagrams were instituted, thus giving a service interval of every 17-18 minutes and a total journey time of 35 mins. When the drivers need a break, the headway becomes less frequent. Counter-directional services designated as line 9 started on the ring in October.
With these service enhancements in place, the city now has a total of 9 trolleybus routes and a fleet of 26 trolleybuses. Although only 8 have low-floor access, the overall age is relatively young, with the oldest vehicles dating from 2001/2003.
Decorated in the Russian national colors, the prototype trolleybus VMZ-5298.01 Nr. 28 is seen running in battery mode through the streets of Abakan, during a media event on 6 September 2018. Photo: Official Portal of the Republic of Khakassia
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