Stockholm [SE] - A new Trolleybus route for Stockholm
J. Lehmann - 13.04.09
Stockholm - Sweden
The Swedish society ”Svenska Spårvägssällskapet” (SSS), a society with around 2000 members, runs it's own Tram museum routes in Malmköping, since the mid sixties, and the ”Djurgårdslinjen” in Stockholm since 1991. Shortly after the closure of the Stockholm Trolleybus system the society purchased to recently overhauked Trolleybuses from the operator Stockholmer Strassenbahn AG. Both vehicles were 1949 built Scania-Vabis/Hägglund&Söner/Asea Trolleybuses. One of the two vehicles was taken to the society's museum in Malmköping to be put on display and the other was put into storage in a barn, after undergoing a minor conservation process. During the spring of 2008 this second vehicle, Trolleybus number 4038, was taken out of storage and returned, via a low loader, to Stockholm where it is now undergoing a complete overhaul to make it road worthy.
It has been decided at political level that the Stockholm tram museum route is to be served by a fleet of modern low floor trams and integrated in a modern new tram network. The regular service by the different old timer trams will become a thing of the past as they will only occasionally be put into service. Not only that but the Museum depot is to be used for the for parking the new low floor tams and some of the Museum vehicles may have to be removed to storage away from the network.
In order to maintain it's attraction the museum society is planning to open and run a Trolleybus museum route. This route, which is to be constructed in cooperation with the town council, is to be around 2 kilometres in length and will follow a route including a lot of tourist attractions. It will join Skansen and Karlaplan and have double overhead wiring. Between Skansen and Djurgårdsbron, where it runs parallel to a tram route, it will also avail itself of the masts for the tram's overhead. At the terminus at Karlaplan there is a connection with the underground. In preparation for this project large quantities of overhead equiptment were purchased form the system in Basel after closure.
Trolleybus 4038 is to be re-licensed and put into service after the necessary overhaul and adjustments have been completed. It was built and put into service at a time when Sweden still drove on the left and consequently the drivers cab has to be completely rebuilt to left hand drive.
The precise routeing is still being discussed with the town's planners . It is officially regarded as being a valuable addition to the tourist attractions the city has to offer. It is also planned, to not only run the old museum Trolleybus but also, to put new modern Trolleybuses made by different manufacturers as demonstrators into service on the route. The idea being to show the visitor that this is not an old fashioned mode of transport but is a system which is under going a continuous development.
This reflects the testing of new trams on the museum route "Djurgårdslijnen" in previous years which led, in the end, to a re-evaluation of the tram as a means of transport and the decision to re-introduce trams to Stockholm. Is it possible that the new, modern, Trolleybuses which will be seen on this museum route could also mean a revival of interest of Trolleybuses as a viable alternative means of transport? Time will tell.
Currently there is only one Trolleybus system in Sweden, This is a new system, opened 39 years after the closure of Sweden's last system, which was inaugurated in September 2003 in Landskrona.
Text: Dirk Budach
Our top photo shows museum Trolleybus number 4038 on a test run on 21.10.2008. In the centre photo we see the Trolleybus shortly after it's arrival for it's first inspection in the Stockholm public transport company workshops.
The lower photo shows number 4038 leaving the storage garage running on it's batteries.
Photos: Thomas Johanson