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Lucerne: new bi-articulated trolleybuses inaugurated

12.06.2014 23:53:01 | Sandro Flückiger | 1 Comments
The new bi-articulated trolleybus was introduced with fireworks. More pictures below.

In December 2012, some time before the nine bi-articulated trolleybuses (DGT) were ordered at Carrosserie Hess, the Verkehrsverbund Luzern (VVL) presented the Concept "RBus" for the trolleybus line 1. This concept includes not only complete operation with DGTs but also infrastructure projects to accelerate line 1, which is the line with the most passengers in Central Switzerland. It also implies the intention to extend the line to Ebikon as a trolleybus and some ideas for a future branding of the line.

The Verkehrsbetriebe Luzern (vbl) started to realize this branding in May when they equipped the stations with new signs that show the new brand name of the line 1. On the 12th June the first DGT, Number 234, presented the new paint-scheme. The line 1 is now called "1ER" and the vehicles are painted in a red-white-blue livery. 1ER is in Swiss German just abbreviation of "line 1" and already commonly used. The infrastructure projects along the line will follow between autumn 2014 and December 2018.

The presentation of the new DGT also included a small extra course for the press and a forum about the topic "Is the bus the new tram?" at the Hochschule Luzern (HSLU) in the afternoon.

Some details

The nine bi-articulated trolleybuses are about to be delivered until October. Those Hess lighTram 3 (BGGT-N2D) are 24.7 meters (81 ft.) long, have five doors and can carry 56 sitting and up to 164 standing passengers. The auxiliary engine was replaced by a battery, which allows silent driving even without overhead lines. The electrics by Vossloh-Kiepe provide electricity fpr the two three-phase asynchronous motors with 160 kW power. For the passengers mainly the "tram-front" and the covered wheels stand out from the outside, inside the new paint scheme continues with logos on the floor and the seats. The DGTs will get the Numbers 234 to 242.

Future of the bus trailers

In the future, trolleybuses with trailers won't be needed anymore on the line 1.

With the new DGTs, most of the 16 NAW-trolleybuses with trailers, which have been used on the lines 1 and 8 so far, won't be needed anymore. Bi-articulated trolleybuses will be able to cover 12 of 13 runs on the line 1. Therefore eleven of the bus trailers (No. 301-311) from 1998 and 2002 are about to be sold. 10 of the NAW-trolleybuses have been sold to Valparaíso in Chile, the first vehicle No. 269 has left Lucerne on the 9th May on a truck in direction of Hamburg, where it was shipped to Chile. Further five bus trailers will still be in service on the line 8 (Würzenbach - Luzern Bahnhof - Hirtenhof). So, some NAW/Hess/Siemens BT 5-25 trolleybuses from 1988/89 will reamain in service even after more than 25 years.


During the press conference the vbl received a model of a bi-articulated trolleybus. The new design also includes the inside. Another highlight: the translucent bellows. Even the current collectors are painted red.
The new bi-articulated trolleybus in a tram-like design. The new trolleybuses even stand out next to buses with advertisement. Signs at stops also show the new brand name.


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