Stara Zagora [BG] - Low floor Ukrainian built Trolleybuses delivered
J. Lehmann - 27.04.09
Stara Zagora – Bulgaria
The first new Trolleybuses for almost 20 years were delivered to this central Bulgarian city. The system was opened with second hand Skoda 14 Tr Trolleybuses from Sofia. Shortly afterwards a few ZIU-682 arrived and in the early nineties articulated DAC Romanian / Bulgarian made Trolleybuses also complemented the fleet. Now the Ukrainian based firm LAZ, after several requests for tenders had been released, were given the contract during the autumn of 2008.
The story so far:
The first call for tenders was in 2006 and was for 10 Trolleybuses. MAN of Germany, Solaris of Poland and the Russian based TROLZA all entered quotes. None, however fulfilled the conditions set by the town council in particular the price which should not exceed 1 million Lev, equivalent of around 0.5 million Euro. A second call for bids in 2007 was withdrawn before any of the firms had replied. A third, and final, call for tenders on 11.06.2008 finally proved to be successful. Two of the quotes were not taken under consideration because of reasons of formality. Three further quotes were entered one from Skoda in cooperation with the Trolleybus operator of Szeged in Hungary who offered reconstructed 14 Tr Trolleybuses and the second from TROLZA. The third offer came from LAZ in the Ukraine and the one the contract which was awarded in September 2008 but not finally signed until March 2009.
The first two of the 12 metre low floor Trolleybuses type LAZ E183 were delivered at the end of March and were designated the fleet numbers 1005 and 1007. The next four are due by the end of June 2009. The total price for the six Trolleybuses amounts to 1.9 million Lev which is around 1 million Euro.
The addition of these vehicles to the fleet will enable the operator to reopen routes 25 and 28 which had been temporarily closed due to lack of vehicles. These will be the first low floor Trolleybuses in Bulgaria.
Our photo, taken on 18.04.2009, shows one of the two new LAZ Trolleybuses, number 1005, in service on route 2.
Photo: Simeon Bonev