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St. Gallen [CH] - 17 new SwissTrolleys

J. Lehmann - 23.03.09

St. Gallen – Switzerland

There would seem to be no end to the "Swiss-Trolleys" arriving in St. Gallen, within a four month period 17 articulated Swiss-Trolleys arrived and are now having an impact on the townscape. After it's final check at the manufacturer's Hess on 19.02.2009 the seventeenth vehicle was transported to St. Gallen on 23.02.2009. The vehicle was inspected by the "Bundesamt für Verkehr" (BAV), the equivalent of the ministry of transport, and received it's certificate of approval on 26.02.2009 together with the one previously delivered. There are, then, now 17 new articulated Trolleybuses, type Swiss-Trolley ready for service.

The older 1984 Saurer Trolleybuses, numbers 101 to 111 which have been replaced by these new vehicles, and which have been sold to Plovdiv in Bulgaria have already been sent there and the last two followed at the end of February 2009. They were driven to the railway loading ramp under their own power. The only component which was taken out before hand were the components belonging to the Intermodal Control System (ITCS or German RBL).

Trolleybuses numbers 153, 156, 158, 159 and 165 of the 1991 NAW/Hess Trolleybus series 151 to 168 have also been taken out of service. Again the ITCS components as well as the blind peoples aid system and PAVIP* components have been removed for use in the new Hess vehicles.

*PAVIP is the abbreviation for “Personal Assistant for Visually Impaired People”. It comprises individual end user devices as well as the needed infrastructure to interact with them. The end user device is called Milestone 311. Currently, it is a voice recorder, MP3 and DAISY player and a RFID tag reader. It is a device for interaction with public transportation systems as well as a DAISY player that is capable of downloading books and newspapers. Behind the PAVIP group is the Swiss Union for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Swiss National Association for the Blind, the Swiss Library for the Blind, the Swiss Department of Home Affairs as well as the executing engineering office Bones Ltd., Switzerland.

Of the 18 vehicles of this series only number 155 which has been converted to a double articulated 24 metre Trolleybus remains in service. Negotiations for the sale of the remainder are currently on going. The first batch of eight are ready for sale and the second batch will become available at the end of 2009 when the new "LighTrams" have been delivered. These vehicles, which are considerably younger than the Saurer Trolleybuses, will command a higher price as they all had a complete undercarriage overhaul just a year ago and some were even fitted with new axles..

Our top photo shows one of the new Hess Swiss-Trolley's. It is not a new guided bus and the rails belong to "Appenzellerbahnen" which run a parallel line to Trolleybus routes 1, 3 and 4 into the town centre.
In our bottom photo the transparent material used for the concertina crossover between the front and rear end of the vehicles. This material makes this area far brighter and has been well received by the passengers.
Photos: Jürgen Lehmann 17.03.2009

Translation and additional text: Bankes

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